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Discussion in 'United States' started by okapikpr, 14 Oct 2008.

  1. okapikpr

    okapikpr Well-Known Member

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  2. okapikpr

    okapikpr Well-Known Member

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  3. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like Berani had an enriching day.
     
  4. bouysou

    bouysou New Member

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    does anybody know anything new going on in the audubon zoo
     
  5. team tapir

    team tapir Well-Known Member

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    We are thinking about doing a getaway to New Orleans for a couple days.Do any Zoo Chatters have any thoughts on the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas.Any of your thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.

    Team Tapir
     
  6. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've visited practically every big-name, major zoo in the United States and in my personal opinion Audubon Zoo is a strong contender for one of the 20 best. In fact, I ranked it at #16 when I compiled a list of top zoos more than a year ago. Here is my full review from 2010:

    DAY 30: Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

    Zoo/Aquarium Review # 27: Audubon Zoo

    Audubon Zoo’s website:

    Audubon Zoo | Audubon Nature Institute

    Zoo Map:

    http://www.auduboninstitute.org/site...ZooMap2010.pdf

    Audubon Zoo is found in New Orleans, within the state of Louisiana, and it represents the second zoo I’ve now visited within that state in the last 24 hours. While Baton Rouge had many outdated metal cages Audubon is a uniformly excellent zoo with a great animal collection and a high level of exhibitry. Adding to the pleasure are the numerous fountains, statues, massive oak trees, wide pathways, grassy meadows and other beautiful additions of “southern charm” to this zoo.

    THE BEST:

    Louisiana Swamp – A long boardwalk takes visitors through a comprehensive exhibit complex packed with all sorts of terrific habitats. Animals displayed here include two white alligators, countless other alligators of all shapes and sizes, raccoons, cougars, bobcats, black bears, river otters, nutrias, red and gray foxes (together) and a wide variety of reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish. As this entire zone ages it might actually become even better, as there is a sense of deliberate decay to the house boat, speed boat and other structures found in the erosive swampland of Louisiana. The pathway goes through a gift shop, there is a restaurant with local cuisine, and the entire area is extensive in its presentation. My only complaints would be that the otter and nutria enclosures are rather basic and plain, while the cougar and bobcat (there are 4 of the small cats) exhibits are cages that are dark and too tiny for their occupants.

    South America – There are two sections presented here, and both “Jaguar Jungle” and “South American Pampas” are located on the same wide-ranging loop. I’m usually not a huge fan of ancient ruins themed exhibits, but the Mayan area found here is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen. There are all sorts of statues; loose boulders, carvings and crumbling facades within dense bamboo jungle, and many of the trees have been permanently bent in half from Hurricane Katrina’s arrival in 2005. I found that the partially-destroyed jungle added to the atmosphere of locating a lost civilization.

    There is a giant anteater/St. Vincent’s agouti/Hoffman’s two-toed sloth exhibit, a jaguar enclosure, a toco toucan/curassow mesh exhibit, and a large area for black-handed spider monkeys to scamper around ancient ruins. Many zoos have ruins as the entire exhibit for an animal, so that in essence what is at the disposal of the creature is cement and metal. Here the ruins form the backdrop to the exhibits, but there is natural substrate and thick vegetation in every single enclosure.

    The pampas area is one massive, multi-acre exhibit, that features Baird’s tapirs, capybaras, rheas, king vultures, guanacos and at least 10 more species of birds. A large boardwalk curves through the centre of the huge enclosure, and a lake and thick vegetation along the banks of the water add to the backdrop. At the end of this terrific area is a giant anteater/maned wolf enclosure that is lush and also immense in size.

    Reptile/Amphibian Building – From the outside this nondescript building is disappointing, as it does little to hint at the spectacular collection contained within its four walls. There are outdoor exhibits for adult komodo dragons, juvenile dragons, false gharials, panther chameleons and Grand Cayman blue iguanas, and indoors there are seemingly endless hallways of top-notch terrariums. One cool feature is “Rattlesnake Canyon” with at least 10 different species of rattlesnakes plus gila monsters and beaded lizards, and a couple of large Chinese alligator tanks are also impressive. This is a strong candidate for one of the 10 best reptile/amphibian complexes in North America.

    THE AVERAGE:

    World of Primates – This area has a terrific collection in average exhibits. It actually reminds me quite a bit of the Memphis Zoo’s primate area, as in both cases the enclosures are nothing fantastic but are also more than adequate. There are 13 species here: Sumatran orangutan, gorilla, talapoin monkey (very rare!), drill (they have 3 that just recently joined the zoo), black-and-white ruffed lemur, siamang, black howler monkey, common marmoset, colobus monkey, Diana monkey, spot-nosed guenon, white-faced saki monkey and golden lion tamarin.

    Asian Domain – This area features these species: Amur leopard (3 including a youngster that is only a few months old), Asiatic lion, Asian elephant, milky stork, white Bengal tiger, babirusa, Burmese mountain tortoise, Great Indian hornbill, Indian-crested porcupine, small-clawed otter, red-crowned crane and sun bear. This is a hit-and-miss area for exhibits, as the long boardwalk allows visitors to look down into average-sized grottoes at the white tigers and Asian lions. The sun bear and babirusa enclosures are lushly planted, and the cranes have a ton of space, but at the same time the absolute worst part of the zoo is found here (more on that later).

    African Savanna – A massive yard features white rhinos, zebras and wildebeest together, while an overlook has a beautiful small lake that contains white pelicans, pink pelicans and other waterfowl. The rest of the African area is smaller in scope than what is found at most other zoos, with exhibits for African wild dogs, eland/Thomson’s gazelles, and giraffes/African crowned cranes/kori bustards. “Monkey Island” is an area that features a treehouse, some ponds and a trickling waterfall that was jam-packed with kids in their bathing suits.

    Discovery Walk – This small area appears to be a quaint English garden, and it includes “The Embraceable Zoo”, which is essentially a children’s area that includes the ubiquitous petting zone.

    Sea Lion Complex – There are two mid-sized pools for sea lions, including a historic enclosure that is currently closed as the zoo plans on adding a shade structure to the pool. The amphitheater is popular for the obligatory show, and the pinnipeds were extremely active on my visit.

    THE WORST:

    Asian Domain Elephant Yard – In visits to over 100 zoos in my lifetime I have now discovered the absolute smallest elephant paddock that I’ve ever seen. Audubon Zoo is such an impressive establishment that it is a shock to see two elephants in a sandy area that is badly outdated and in need of an overhaul. There is a sign offering up details on a new elephant barn that will be completed in late 2011, and the sign also states that an expanded elephant exhibit will be the focus in the future, but these elephants should be sent somewhere else in the meantime.

    One of the elephants stood on the edge of a scarily deep moat on all 3 occasions that I visited the area on my tour of the zoo, and elephants often suffer mentally and physically in zoos when placed in small environments. Leg ailments and joints freeze up due to lack of action, and the swaying and head-bobbing is cute to some visitors but horrible to see to those that realize the onset of insanity is only a few years away. I have no idea how well the elephants are coping in their hellhole, but I honestly think that the babirusa (there are at least 4 of them) should be added to the enclosure and the elephants sent away until funds can be raised for a new paddock.

    OVERALL:

    Audubon Zoo is one of the better zoos that I’ve visited on this trip, and the Louisiana Swamp, South America and Reptile/Amphibian sections are all top-class and quite extensive. The rest of the zoo features a wide-ranging collection in many average exhibits, and the only major change in the past couple of years appears to be the disappearance of the Tropical Bird House. This mini-South American rainforest zone is nowhere to be found on the map, and I’m guessing that the current “Dinosaur Adventure” area is now utilizing the building and that perhaps the birds have been sent to various other zoos.

    One of the more common aspects of this epic road trip is the sheer volume of dinosaur adventures that are to be found in zoos. Oregon, Cleveland, Louisville, Audubon, Houston and at least 3 other zoos that I know of in the United States ALL have animatronic dinosaur displays this summer that are enclosed in a separate area and can be seen for an extra fee. I understand that these temporary sensations are crucial in terms of a financial bonus to the zoos that have them, but are there truly that many life-like dinosaurs throughout America?
     
  7. Terp

    Terp Well-Known Member

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    Not much one can add to snowleopard's very thorough review - it is a really nice zoo. I'd just add a transportation recommendation - if you are staying in the French quarter, you can take a boat ride over to the zoo, and then on the way back you can take the zoo shuttle to St. Charles where you can catch the historic trolley back into town. The trolley in New Orleans is very cool, and that ride into town past all the mansions is an experience all in itself.
     
  8. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Are there any plans to either build a new elephant exhibit or send away the current elephants? This seems like a major flaw in an otherwise great sounding zoo.
     
  9. team tapir

    team tapir Well-Known Member

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    We had heard that the boat no longer runs since Katrina ,do you know for a fact that its back up and running?

    Team Tapir
     
  10. bouysou

    bouysou New Member

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    i would not stay in the french quater stay in metairie turst me way cheaper and yes the boat is still running. Their building a new exhbit from them but it still got a long way to go on it .
     
  11. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    An African Black-footed Cat kitten was born February 6, 2012, to an ordinary domestic cat, becoming the first of its kind to be born from inter-species embryo transfer.
    This birth is the latest breakthrough in assisted reproduction for endangered species from Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans.

    Critically Endangered Kitten Born To A Domestic Cat! - ZooBorns
     
  12. team tapir

    team tapir Well-Known Member

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    The Audubon Zoo as well as The Aquarium of the Americas and Insectarium have closed until further notice as the brace for Hurricane Isaac.The Zoo sits on one of the highest spots in New Orleans, however we don't beleive the same can be said for the Aquarium which sustained severe damage in Katrina.Not sure about the Insectarium.We hope for the best for the entire community and its animals.

    Team Tapir
     
  13. BeardsleyZooFan

    BeardsleyZooFan Well-Known Member

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  14. BeardsleyZooFan

    BeardsleyZooFan Well-Known Member

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  15. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

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    I volunteer here so if you have any questions feel free to ask me!
     
  16. uszoo

    uszoo Well-Known Member

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    Hello Youssarian hello and welcome to zoochat, do you happen to know about the progress on the elephant barn? and also the progress/plans for a new outdoor exhibit.
     
  17. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

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    It's coming along, I'm no judge on architecture but I saw it last week and it seemed pretty close to being built. I don't know for sure when it's supposed to be done but apparently there's gonna be a lot of change in the Asian Domain area relating to the new elephant barn. I'm so excited for it, they're gonna have so much more room!
     
  18. BeardsleyZooFan

    BeardsleyZooFan Well-Known Member

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  19. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

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    From their Facebook page:

    "Where’s the lion at Audubon Zoo? We have been hearing this question a lot lately as Asian Domain undergoes extensive improvements! Our lion is currently comfortable behind the scenes as we work to bring you expanded exhibits, a new state-of-the-art elephant barn, a new orangutan exhibit, a new location for the ever-popular children’s contact yard and more! In June, the lion and white tiger will alternate days in the white tiger exhibit. Meanwhile, check out our endangered Amur leopards in their spectacular new home; take a stroll to Jaguar Jungle to visit jaguars; head on down the bayou to the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit to visit our bobcats and cougar! We appreciate your patience during this time, and we promise to keep you updated here!"
     
  20. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member

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