New Developments in 2016

Anticipation in the East

2017 will be a momentous year for Audubon Nature Institute, beginning with the opening of the first phases of Audubon Louisiana Nature Center in spring. The rebirth of this cherished community resource in New Orleans East features miles of boardwalks through natural settings replete with Louisiana wildlife, along with spaces for nature learning—all specially designed to bring the wonders of Louisiana nature into the hearts, minds and lives of our communities. The new Nature Center was made possible in part by generous support from CITGO Petroleum Corporation, the Ella West Freeman Foundation, the Keller Family Foundation, Folgers Coffee Company, and the Selley Foundation.

White hardhats that have Audubon Louisiana Nature Center printed on them, sit on a green table.

Logo for Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife, founded by Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo GlobalBlazing a Trail for Wildlife

The first animals for Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife arrive in 2017, launching a new phase of an innovative partnership with San Diego Zoo Global to breed imperiled animal species in an expansive natural setting on the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center campus.


A jaguar gazes out at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.Jaguar Jungle—Exciting Enhancements

One of the most imaginative and popular areas of Audubon Zoo will soon grow by 44%, as Jaguar Jungle Phase II moves closer to completion in 2017. One of the main attractions is the Nocturnal House, where creatures not normally seen during the day, like bats, can be experienced by visitors for the first time in years. Jaguar Jungle and its expansion were made possible in part by the generous support of the Zemurray Foundation.


A rendering of what the revamped Cooper Plaza Fountain at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans will look like.Welcome to the Zoo!

The heart of Audubon Zoo, the central spot where unforgettable Zoo experiences begin, the backdrop of so many unforgettable family moments, started a dazzling transformation in 2016 that guests can’t wait to see in 2017! The Cooper Plaza fountain was a gift from the Angus R. Cooper Charitable Foundation in memory of Miriam Walmsley Cooper, a longtime Audubon Commission member and chairwoman for the first Zoo-To-Do fundraiser held on Zoo grounds. The fountain will soon include life-sized families of elephants and lions, along with programmable lighting and water displays. What a great way to begin a trip to the Zoo!


Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh, the colorful children’s book launched by Audubon and the New Orleans Pelicans in 2016, written by Johnette Downing and illustrated by Heather Stanley.Petit Pierre’s Teacher Tools

Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh, the colorful children’s book launched by Audubon and the New Orleans Pelicans in 2016, is set to go multi-media in 2017 with a new, interactive website in the “Teacher Tools” section of Audubon’s website. The new education site helps librarians and educators teach children about the wetlands with innovative, online resources including a fun tutorial on speaking Cajun French, step-by-step instructions on how to use the book as a field guide, and a “Wetlands in a Pan” class activity that illustrates how a storm surge affects a fragile coastal environment. The site was inspired by the requests of teachers who met the book’s author, Johnette Downing, and illustrator, Heather Stanley, at the Louisiana Book Festival.


An colorful illustration of a jaguar from Whitney Zoo to Do to benefit Audubon Nature Institute.Forty Years of Fun for Philanthropy

Whitney Zoo-To-Do celebrates its 40th year in 2017 with show-stopping dance music and an array of premium cocktails and dishes from 70 of New Orleans’ best restaurants. Zoo-To-Do for Kids presented by Tulane Pediatrics invites families and little ones to party for the 29th year the week before Whitney Zoo-To-Do. The 2017 Zoo-To-Do events celebrate the awakening of new wonder in Audubon Zoo’s Jaguar Jungle. Here’s to another 40—and more!—of these festive parties to benefit Audubon Zoo.


A majestic male lion stands regally in front of a photo of a weathered map.Thanks for the Roar, Joy and Boysie!

Philanthropists Joy and Boysie Bollinger are putting “the roar” back in Audubon Zoo with a $5 million donation for a new lion habitat—the largest single gift the Zoo has received from a private donor. Planning began right away on the 1.5-acre area, which will include training features, along with new pathways to bring visitors closer to animals. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.


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