There are several Zoo’s throughout Louisiana with some of the rarest animals ever seen. If you rather see aquatic animals, check out the aquarium in New Orleans. Look below for details on the nearest zoo.
- Baton Rouge – BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo
- Lafayette – Zoo of Acadian
- New Orleans – Audubon Zoo
- New Orleans – Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
- Shreveport – Shreveport Aquarium
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo
The BR Zoo was a dream of several and in 1965, the residents passed a tax that provided the funds to build the facility. Construction began in 1966 and BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo first opened to the public on Easter Sunday, 1970. Over the past 40+ years, the Zoo has grown to become the #1 year-round family attraction in Baton Rouge. With more than a quarter million guests each year, the Zoo attracts visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The Zoo is a favorite place for families and groups to discover the animal kingdom.
Today, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is home to animals from around the world including tigers, black rhinos, flamingos, alligators and giraffes.
The Zoo is very active in conservation programs and fully participates with other zoos around the world in nearly 30 international Species Survival Plans (SSP) for critically endangered species. Three of these SSP animals, the Guam Rail, Arabian Oryx, and Golden Lion Tamarin, have been successfully reintroduced into the wild and represent living proof of the zoo’s long-term commitment of reintroduction to strengthen and supplement wild populations of endangered and threatened wildlife.
The Zoo conducts active outreach and in-house educational programs. Educational programming has expanded to include activities such as community outreach programs, reading programs, day camps, weekend classes, teacher workshops, on-site live animal and artifacts encounters and demonstrations. The Zoo works closely with the LSU of Veterinary Medicine conducting research on several species.
Be sure to check out the Zoo during the fall and winter. They host a nice display of Christmas lights and animal themes. There is a small entrance fee. Visit the website for more details and an updated schedule of events.
Zoo of Acadian
Located near Lafayette, the Zoo of Acadian has grown with the communities throughout the Acadiana and southwest Louisiana areas over the past decades. From beginning as a small menagerie in the early 1990s to today’s accredited zoological park, Zoosiana continues to proudly connect guests to the natural world, through a strong commitment to education, conservation, and up-close-and-personal, pure excitement.
A small, private collection of exotic birds attracted random donations of animals and led to a desire to have a zoo in the Acadiana area. The Zoo of Acadiana, as it was known until 2013, held a ground breaking ceremony in Broussard to initiate progress in 1990. The gates of the 14-acre zoo opened in 1992. From 1994 to 1998, the zoo acquired more land, added new species, constructed new facilities and infrastructure, and soon became a true park. George and Marleen Oldenburg, along with their three sons bought the 45-acre zoo and its hundreds of animals. Over the next 10 years devoted employees and supporters expanded the zoo with new facilities, attractions, and animals.
Over 750 animals from more than 130 species call the zoo home. Commitment to conservation through the breeding and preservation of endangered species has fostered a true sense of pride in the hearts of our guests and area residents. These animals bring untold joy to more than 150,000 guests, and growing, every year.
Zoosiana provides first-class care and attention to each animal made possible by the incredible staff of 25 people, all of whom are focused on bringing a personal approach to all aspects of Zoosiana, from community involvement to animal care and guest interactions.
Audubon Zoo & Aquarium of Americas
Located in historic Uptown New Orleans, Audubon Zoo offers an exotic mix of animals from around the globe, engaging educational programs, hands-on animal encounters and lush gardens. Unique natural habitat exhibits—such as the award-winning Louisiana Swamp and Jaguar Jungle—showcase the relationship between people and nature. Don’t miss the daily animal presentations, chats and feeds; our highly endangered whooping cranes, Amur leopards and orangutans; our white tiger; and our mysterious white alligators. Audubon Zoo is often ranked among the country’s best for innovation and entertainment value!
Normally this is where we would go into detail on various activities but we believe it’s better for you to see yourself. Visit the website (http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/zoo/explore-zoo) for info on the exhibits.
The Aquarium of Americas is located on the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarter. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas immerses you in an underwater world. The colors of a Caribbean reef come alive in our walk-through tunnel, while our penguins and Southern sea otter enchant you with their antics. Touch a sting ray, feed a parakeet, and marvel at our gigantic sharks, tarpon, and rays in the 400,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit. Watch for sea turtles throughout the Aquarium—as coordinator of the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program, we prepare many of them for release to the wild. Visit the website (http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/aquarium/explore-aquarium) for all of the details on exhibits.