Join our zoo community

Audubon zoo travel advice

Discussion in 'United States' started by (Adsa), 26 Jan 2020.

  1. (Adsa)

    (Adsa) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Nov 2019
    Posts:
    317
    Location:
    The Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    I am going to New Orleans in the spring and am planning to visit the Audubon zoo. Are there any rarities or unique habitats that I should make a point of seeing at the zoo.
     
  2. marvinjonesIII

    marvinjonesIII Member

    Joined:
    17 Jan 2020
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    US
    While not at the zoo per se, make sure not to miss the Audubon Insectarium downtown. Best insectarium I've ever seen and in close walking distance to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
     
  3. Kudu21

    Kudu21 Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    2,256
    Location:
    US
    I absolutely second making time for the Insectarium. It is my favorite of the public Audubon parks. It is such a unique facility and so well done. It is not particularly large; however, and can easily be combined with the Aquarium of the Americas, which is just down the street, if you have the time.The zoo, while not large, is in Uptown, which is quite far from the other two facilities. It will not take you a full day to see; however, there are a number of rarities, specifically within their Reptile House and Jaguar Jungle. There are some other rarities spread out around the rest of the zoo, barasingha in Asia, whooping cranes near the entrance, Angolan talapoin in World of Primates, etc. They have some (other) interesting birds in their collection as well; however, without much of a permanent bird exhibit other than the walk-through Audubon Aviary, I cannot guarantee which species you would see. Exhibit-wise, the cultural theming and educational elements of the Louisiana Swamp exhibit are definitely the highlights, even if some of the exhibits leave a little to be desired.
     
    StoppableSan likes this.
  4. marvinjonesIII

    marvinjonesIII Member

    Joined:
    17 Jan 2020
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    US
    I would second the Louisiana Swamp is a highlight but would add the zoo's South American and reptile collections are notable too. The African lion habitat is the newest habitat and quite well done. Other improvements from the last few years include the Asian Domain renovation (including a new Asian elephant habitat and an interesting orangutan habitat in the footprint of the old elephant exhibit), CoolZoo (water play area) and Jaguar Jungle Phase II (nocturnal house.)
     
  5. Okapi Lover

    Okapi Lover Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    2 Dec 2017
    Posts:
    103
    Location:
    Chicago
    Not reported on here (to my knowledge) has been the closure of the Nocturnal House in Jaguar Jungle since last summer for unspecified renovations that were only supposed to last the summer but continued at least until this past December. Does anyone have any additional information on these renovations or the reason for the delay?
     
  6. Kudu21

    Kudu21 Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    2,256
    Location:
    US
    The nocturnal house reopened recently-- last week, I believe. There were some issues with the construction, which caused some animal welfare concerns as the exhibit was repeatedly serviced and aged. Those issues have been resolved, and I believe some of the exhibitry was updated as well. It has been awhile since I've been to the zoo, so I might visit soon and see what all has changed.
     
    StoppableSan likes this.
  7. PSO

    PSO Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Nov 2019
    Posts:
    777
    Location:
    FL
    Highlights:
    Herp house: was very impressed, tomistoma, blue iguana, komodo and that's the outdoor displays, great herp collection all around
    Asia: second favorite, usual suspects with sun bears, bsrasingha and a great babirusa/asco mix
    LA swamp was excellent, but was more about drinking a local beer and having crawfish cakes, local vibe
    Tapoloin in primate area dont miss
    If you have the time Alexandria was more of highlight for rarities than Audubon
     
  8. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    107
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Nocturnal house did indeed just reopen last week and looks fantastic, 10x better than before!
    Audubon is my home zoo so if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out!
     
    StoppableSan likes this.
  9. Kudu21

    Kudu21 Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    2,256
    Location:
    US
    Interesting! I wasn't aware of how extensive the renovations were actually going to be beyond fixing the aforementioned welfare issues. What all has changed? I will have to try and make it over there on my weekend.
     
    StoppableSan likes this.
  10. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    107
    Location:
    Louisiana
    So basically all the exhibits were completely stripped out and redone. Right now it's just the three mammal exhibits open; the tank side is still closed and vampire bats are still off display but I expect those to undergo similar transformations as well.

    All the exhibits now have awesome vine structures as well as a "archaeologist looking through ancient ruins" type vibe. The owl monkey/armadillo exhibit has a mulch substrate which makes things more dynamic for the armadillo and also the two-toed sloth that was formerly in the anteater exhibit (but off display for a while) has moved in. The fruit bat flyway is pretty sick and has an awesome mister/humidifier thing going on as well. The porcupine/ringtail exhibit is night and day different. It's not even remotely similar. The lighting looks better as well. To me it's easier to actually see the animals and they're all really active. I've been a few times since it reopened and I'm quite impressed.
     
    StoppableSan and Kudu21 like this.
  11. Kudu21

    Kudu21 Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    2,256
    Location:
    US
    Interesting! That's a lot more extensive than I had thought. It sounds like quite the improvement then, overall-- not that I didn't enjoy the building before. I will have to visit again soon!
     
    StoppableSan likes this.
  12. Sarus Crane

    Sarus Crane Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    23 Apr 2017
    Posts:
    1,081
    Location:
    USA
    I was there for the first time this past September. My top 3 species to not miss out on are the False Gharials, Maguari Storks, and the Barasingha Deer. The herd stag, whose name is Mac has huge antlers and is quite a large specimen! I’d also recommend going on a day that’s cooler if possible. I went on a 95 degree day and nearly got heatstroke (still had a fun day!)
     
    StoppableSan likes this.
  13. StoppableSan

    StoppableSan Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2016
    Posts:
    1,558
    Location:
    USA
    Any pics of the development in terms of the flyway/vampire bats? (Not to pester or spam or anything, I'm just genuinely curious)
     
  14. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    107
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I tried to get some but they all came out blurry and terrible and I didn't notice until I left LOL. I'll try to get some more soon. Vampire bats aren't on exhibit yet though but the flyway looks great.
     
    StoppableSan likes this.
  15. (Adsa)

    (Adsa) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Nov 2019
    Posts:
    317
    Location:
    The Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    I am departing tomorrow at Philadelphia airport around 6:10. I will be stopping in Atlanta for a hour and a half. Then arriving in NOLA late at night. I’ll take some time to see New Orleans then arrive at my hotel. On Sunday i plan to take the bus tour at 10 am. Eat lunch which I'm looking forward to. Then see the aquarium and insectarium. I do nothing zoologically related on Monday seeing as all the institutions are closed. Go to the zoo on Tuesday leave by Wednesday.
     
  16. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member 15+ year member

    Joined:
    12 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,869
    Location:
    California, USA
    Safe travels, and if you feel like writing reviews of the zoo, insectarium, and/or aquarium, we would be interested in reading them here.
     
    (Adsa) likes this.
  17. (Adsa)

    (Adsa) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Nov 2019
    Posts:
    317
    Location:
    The Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    Thank you. I plan to do reviews for all of them however there’s a lot i want to do in NOLA so it may take a while.
     
  18. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    107
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Awesome, safe travels!
    Audubon just switched over to their summer schedule actually so the facilities should be open on Monday!
     
    (Adsa) likes this.
  19. (Adsa)

    (Adsa) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Nov 2019
    Posts:
    317
    Location:
    The Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    Im just about to board my plane in Philadelphia . Going to stop in Atlanta before i board the flight to New Orleans.
     
  20. (Adsa)

    (Adsa) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Nov 2019
    Posts:
    317
    Location:
    The Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    I have arrived in Atlanta