The Audubon Zoo is a part of the Audubon Society, and is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 58-acre zoo was opened in 1914, and features 2,000 different animals. The zoo is named after John James Audubon, the founder of the Audubon Society, a resident and businessman of New Orleans, Louisiana.
The origins of the Audubon Zoo can be traced back to the early 20th century. A flight cage had been inside Audubon Park since 1914, and in the 1920's many additional features were added. In 1928, a sea lion pond with neo-classical columns was added and art nouveau buildings were constructed to be used for reptile exhibits.
During the 1930's, during the Great Depression, the zoo received $400,000 and was expanded by the Works Progress Administration. New cages were added and an artificial hill known as "Monkey Hill'' was constructed, the purpose of the hill was to show the citizens of flat New Orleans, what a hill would look like.
By the 1970's the zoo was in a state of decay. The cages installed were no longer considered an appropriate and safe environment for the animals of the zoo. In 1975, at the urgency of the city government, local officials and citizens, voters approved finances to rebuild the zoo. The grounds of the zoo were expanded from 14 to 50 acres and by the end of construction; the zoo was well on its way to becoming one of the premier zoos in the United States.
After Hurricane Katrina roared through New Orleans in 2005, the zoo was opened but limited visitation to weekends only due to financial constraints. The zoo received minimal damage from the storm due to its location and disaster planning. As of 2006, the zoo had once again reopened to the public on a regular seven days per week schedule.
The Audubon Zoo is one of the top-rated zoos in the United States, and is home to an exotic mix of animals from all over the world. The Zoo features innovative habitats, lush gardens and comfortable resting areas and hands-on animal experiences. Visitors to the Audubon Zoo will experience a wide array of unique exhibits, entertaining animal shows and many other activities designed to appeal to guests of all ages.