Zoo Offers Sudsy Safari with Elephants

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Zoo Offers Sudsy Safari with Elephants

Posted: 07/03/2009
Knoxville Zoo's elephants are giving some lucky families the chance to have some good clean fun this summer. Beginning Thursday, July 9, the zoo kicks off a special series of Sudsy Safaris. A visitor will be chosen in a random drawing, done by the elephants themselves, to come behind the scenes to meet Jana and Edie, two of the zoo's African elephants, during their daily bath routine. Safaris are always more fun with friends, so the winner can also invite their family and friends who are visiting the zoo with them to come along, too.

Sudsy Safaris will take place each Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday through Labor Day at 1:00 p.m. Visitors who want to participate in the drawing and the chance for a behind-the-scenes bath experience should meet at the Stokley African Elephant Preserve at 12:50 p.m. to be eligible for the 1:00 p.m. drawing. The winner and up to five guests will be escorted by Knoxville Zoo staff into the elephant area for tons of elephant-washing fun!

Jana, Edie and Tonka, the zoo's resident elephants, get bathed daily to keep their skin healthy. Sudsy Safaris will give visitors the chance to get up close with Jana and Edie as they get rubbed, scrubbed, and rinsed. "The girls really enjoy their baths, and we noticed we have a lot of visitors interested in what was going on, too. We decided visitors should be able to get in on the fun," says Jim Naelitz, elephant curator at Knoxville Zoo. "However, we only wash the elephants, not the kids," he adds. 
Visitors can participate in the Sudsy Safari drawing each Thursday through Monday, and it is included as part of general zoo admission. Sudsy Safaris will continue through September 7, 2009.*

Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day.The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed tothe highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, thezoo is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before thezoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3:00 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331ext. 300 or visit www.knoxville-zoo.org

* Sudsy Safaris may be cancelled without notice, and the winner of the daily drawing will be determined by Knoxville Zoo staff.