Welcome to the fascinating world of Cajun’s Bayou exhibit, where two joyful alligators, Cajun and Big Mama, find their home. This immersive habitat came into existence in 2005 when the Tulsa Zoo earned the prestigious title of “American Favorite Zoo,” thanks to Microsoft Game Studio. This accolade came with a $25,000 prize, which was thoughtfully allocated to the creation of Cajun’s Bayou.
Within this exhibit, our dedicated zookeepers have meticulously crafted a realistic swamp-like environment to ensure that our reptilian friends feel right at home. As Tulsa Zoo director Stephen Walker aptly describes it, these gators sport unmistakable, contented smiles on their faces. If you’ve had the pleasure of getting to know these alligators, you’d recognize the sheer delight they experience while basking in the sun at their leisure. They now even have the luxury of a new pool in an expanded area, complete with lush grassy terrain. Plus, there’s ample shade for them to retreat to if they so desire. It’s truly a paradise for them.
In this engaging project, my role involved collaborating closely with the reptile department and our esteemed exhibit colleagues. Together, we embarked on the task of shaping the exhibit’s overall aesthetic, ensuring it resonates with both our alligator residents and our visitors. Additionally, I took charge of crafting the signage, sign, and website banner, elements that play a vital role in conveying the essence of Cajun’s Bayou to our curious audience.
This remarkable journey was documented and published by Microsoft, showcasing our dedication to providing a comfortable and enriching habitat for these amazing creatures.
Notably, one of the most exhilarating moments in this project was orchestrating the relocation of an 800-pound alligator from the exhibit’s interior to the great outdoors—an awe-inspiring endeavor that I observed from a respectful distance.