updated 10/25/2011 12:42:05 PM ET 2011-10-25T16:42:05

You can do more than watch a peninsular pronghorn, maned wolf or serval at the Los Angeles Zoo. Now you can ride them too.

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The $2.5 million Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel opens Thursday.

Most of the 66 figures on the merry-go-round represent zoo animals. A trio of horse racing elite, Zenyatta, Giacomo and Tiago, 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.

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.

Story: At long last, a historic carousel rides again

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