Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans

The Mississippi River is just outside the doors of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. This facility houses approximately fifteen thousand sea creatures. The aquarium is known worldwide for its unique representation of about six hundred species of marine life. Their technology at the aquarium is state of the art.

Visitors to the aquarium will find many forms of sea life when they go through the thirty foot long tunnel. Brightly colored fish, sharks and rays are all apparent from this enormous tunnel. The newly completed Seahorses Gallery features the seahorse in their own environment. Sometimes they are hidden in the grasses of the display and at other times they glide past the viewing windows. Seahorses are a phenomenon because the males of the species are the ones that give birth.

One of the most special inhabitants of the aquarium is the rare white alligator. There have only been eighteen of these local natives found in the swamps of Louisiana. The Cajun folk lore says that seeing one brings good luck.

There is a shark pool where visitors are invited to touch a baby shark. They have naturalists at some of the exhibits to answer any questions. There are two otters named Buck and Emma that provide hours of entertainment. Penguins, neon colored frogs, anaconda snakes, and many exotic birds reside at the aquarium as well.

Two species of penguins reside at the aquarium; the African and the Rockhopper. These penguins are warm weather penguins so there is no snow or ice in the habitat. The Rockhopper penguins are adorned with bright yellow tufts and orange feet. There are fed twice a day at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm.

Adventure Island is an interactive exhibit for all ages. The stingrays reside in a 2,600 gallon pool that offers visitors the experience of touching them. They are fed twice a day at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm; tokens to feed the stingrays are two dollars each.

The aquarium has a small cafy and a gift shop. It can be acquired for receptions or corporate parties. Visitors can spend the entire day seeing all the exhibits. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Hours of operation at the aquarium are Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The aquarium is closed on Mardi Gras day, Thanksgiving, Christmas eve and Christmas day.

Prices for adults are eighteen dollars, children ages 2 - 12 are eleven dollars and senior citizens over sixty five are fourteen dollars. There is also a zoo, an insectarium and IMAX theater at the complex. Tickets for these other attractions may be purchased in combination with an aquarium admission.

Wheelchairs are available to rent at the aquarium. There is no charge for the wheelchair, but an ID or driver's license must be left at the information desk as a deposit. There is no smoking at the aquarium. For everyone's safety and that of the sea life patrons are asked to wear shoes and shirts at all times.

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