New LA Zoo carousel comes with handcrafted animals, $2.5 million price tag

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The Los Angeles Zoo will debut a sparkling new $2.5 million carousel on Thursday — complete with your favorite zoo animals.

The Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel boasts 66 figures, most of them inspired by animals found at the zoo. A trio of horse racing elite, Zenyatta, Giacomo and Tiago, are among them and pay tribute to owners Ann and Jerry Moss. It was their financial gift to the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association that launched the carousel project.

Each wooden animal was hand-carved and hand painted by the The Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio. The carousel, which will sit atop the Treetops Terrace at the center of the zoo, also features hand-painted California flora and fauna.

Revenue from $3 carousel rides will go toward conservation projects at the zoo.

The Moss family named the carousel after the late screenwriter because he was an avid supporter of conservation efforts. Before he died last year, he personally sponsored the carousel's dung beetle chariot.

The zoo is also offering $25,000 sponsorships of each carousel animal.

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