A planned 1,000-acre range on New Orleans' west bank will serve as a haven for antelope and bird species that aren't breeding as well as zookeepers would like, giving some of the animals a chance to roam in herds that zoos don't have space for.
Groundbreaking on the project begins Wednesday. New Orleans' Audubon Nature Institute and the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy are partners on the project.
The Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife will use most of the 1,400 acres at the Audubon Species Survival Center, where scientists began breeding endangered cranes, hoofed animals and cats in 1996.
Audubon's vice president and general curator, Joel Hamilton, says Alliance officials hope to get the first okapi, bongo and giraffes into their pens in October.