The Cajun’s Bayou exhibit is the home to a couple of happy gators, Cajun and Big Mama. In 2005, the Tulsa Zoo was named as “American Favorite Zoo” by Microsoft Game Studio and was granted $25,000 in a contest designed to promote Zoo Tycoon 2. This money went to create Cajun’s Bayou.
Zookeepers say the realistic swamp-like environment helps the creatures feel more at home. Tulsa Zoo director Stephen Walker: they have these great big smiles on their faces. If you know these alligators, you can tell they are so happy out here sunbathing at their leisure, and they have a new pool in a nice big expanded area, nice grassy. They can get in the shade if they want to its just wonderful for them.
My role in the project was to design the overall aesthetic of the exhibit in collaboration with the reptile department and other exhibit employees and also designed the signage, sign, and website banner.
The scariest part was moving an 800-pound alligator from the inside of the exhibit outside. I stood far back and watched.