New Africa Opening - main entrance archway into elephant enclosure, with john walczak admiring archway, with elephant in the yard

The Louisville Zoo Announces Major Gift to Leadership Campaign and Names Harry Frazier Family Elephant Encounter

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Today, Mayor Fischer and the Louisville Zoo announced a major gift from the Harry Frazier Family and the naming of the Harry Frazier Family Elephant Encounter. The $2 million gift from the Frazier family is the largest gift to the Zoo’s current Leadership Campaign. The generous support allowed the Zoo to complete its $3 million expansion of the elephant exhibit which formally opens to the public Saturday, March 19.

“My family and I are thrilled to offer support to the Zoo to create the expanded elephant yard and the Harry Frazier Family Elephant Encounter. The Zoo does amazing work in conservation and education and is truly an asset for our entire region,” family member Sandra Frazier says. “We’re also happy to make available the opportunity for enhanced guest experiences with Mikki, Punch and the keeper crew at the elephant exhibit.”

“The Harry Frazier Family Elephant Encounter is a wonderful gift to the city and reminder to all of us to do what we can to make our community a better place.”  adds Mayor Fischer.

“The significant Frazier family gift gave us the major push we needed to move our current leadership campaign forward,” says Zoo Director John Walczak. “We are currently at $8.9 million toward our $10.4 and we couldn’t have done it without the support and generosity of the Frazier Family. The Harry Frazier Family Elephant Encounter will allow guests to get unique interactive experiences with our elephants, Mikki and Punch.”

With the completion of Harry Frazier Family Elephant Encounter and the opening of the new African  area, the Zoo has completed phase one of the Leadership Campaign projects.  Phase two will be complete later this spring when the Zoo opens its new Penguin Cove introducing a new penguin species to guests – “Little” penguins. Guests can also expect to see some more construction later this fall when we break ground for the primate exhibit scheduled to open in 2017. Rounding out the campaign projects will be an early childhood learning play space, The Cub House presented by PNC,  due to open in 2018 and Snow Leopard Leap due to open 2019 pending completion of the fundraising campaign.


The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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