Tour pachyderms’ new home at Audubon Zoo home

Photo provided by Audubon Images -- Panya and Jean, the Audubon Zoo's two Asian elephants, have new living quarters and the zoo is offering special, up-close tours. Show caption
Photo provided by Audubon Images -- Panya and Jean, the Audubon Zoo's two Asian elephants, have new living quarters and the zoo is offering special, up-close tours.

Meet a pair of pachyderms and see their new digs at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

Visitors can now tour Panya and Jean’s state-of-the-art living quarters, talk to the elephants’ keeper and meet the two female Asian elephants face-to-face.

The Elephant Barn Tour lasts about a hour. Guests will learn about elephants and how the zoo cares for the largest animals in its collection. They will go behind the scenes to hear about everything from the elephants’ diet to their exercise program to the special features in their new exhibit, a news release said.

The tour is available at 11:15 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and is limited to seven guests, 6 years old and older. One adult must accompany each child under 10 years of age.

Groups with children under 17 must include an adult chaperone (21 or older). The program is scheduled to end in August 2014.

Tickets for the Elephant Barn Tour are $65 per person for Audubon members and $75 per person for non-members, which includes same-day admission to Audubon Zoo.

Tickets will be sold up to one hour before the start of the tour. Visit auduboninstitute.org.

Assorted honors

The Southeast Tourism Society named the Louisiana Office of Tourism is the State Tourism Office of the Year . The award acknowledges the office’s accomplishments, effective marketing, creativity in design, implementation of new projects, and work advancing the cause of travel and tourism in the Southeast.

The Office of Tourism earned the award for the execution and incorporation of its tourism brand — Pick Your Passion — and for celebrating the year of music with its marketing campaign weaving the musical sounds of the state into all avenues of marketing and advertising.

The Baton Rouge KOA Campground was awarded the 2014 KOA President’s Award by Kampgrounds of America, the world’s largest system of family-friendly campgrounds. The KOA President’s Award is presented annually to campgrounds that receive high scores in customer service from their campers, and also receive top scores in KOA’s annual Quality Review.

Tamahka Trails Golf Club in Marksville has made Convention South Magazine’s 2014 list of top golf retreats for groups. The golf club was ranked seventh overall and first in the Gulf Region, and was the only course in Louisiana to make the magazine’s rankings.

Tamahka Trails is an 18-hole, par 71 course, and is a charter member of the Audubon Golf Trail.

Making ornaments

Fairview-Riverside State Park near Madisonville is offering an origami ornament workshop Saturday, Dec. 21.

Children ages 5-7 can register for the 9 a.m.-noon session, and children 8 and older can register for the 1-4 p.m. session. Sessions will last about a half hour . The art and history of paper folding will be covered and participants will fold and decorate an ornament to add to their Christmas tree. Call Otis House Museum to register, (985) 792-4652.

Fairview-Riverside State Park is located one mile east of Madisonville on La. 22 in St. Tammany Parish. The program is free with park admission of $2 per person ages 4- 61; seniors ages 62 and older and children under 3 are admitted free of charge. Call (985) 792-4652 or (888) 677-3247.

Louisiana Travels is a column about travel destinations and events in Louisiana. Email items for Louisiana Travels to travel@theadvocate.com or jbergeron@theadvocate.com or mail to Judy Bergeron, The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810.