NEW ORLEANS – Have you ever wanted to take a peek behind the scenes at Audubon Zoo, meet a penguin up close, or send a butterfly off on its first flight?
Wild Encounters is a brand new experience at all three Audubon Nature Institute facilities – Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium, and Audubon Insectarium. For an additional fee, guests will have an exclusive encounter with some of their favorite Audubon animals.
Audubon Nature Institute Wild Encounters are special, unique encounters and no two are alike. All are designed to be memorable, educational – and fun! Guests will learn directly from team members who work with the animals in our care, providing insights on their specific needs, enrichment activities, food preferences, conservation status in the wild, and more.
Here are some of the initial Audubon Wild Encounters. Some Wild Encounters are available seasonally due to animal inactivity in colder temperatures.
Penguin Party – Meet one of our African penguins up close, learn how they can “fly” underwater, what they eat, and why they are endangered.
Maya Snorkel – Don snorkel gear and slip into the waters of the 132,000 gallon Maya Tunnel where you’ll be surrounded by colorful fish and rays.
Butterfly First Flight – Learn about how Audubon raises butterflies and moths for the Insectarium and release a butterfly into the Insectarium’s Butterfly Garden and watch as it glides through the lush foliage in its new home.
Alpaca Palooza – Get up close with these unique South American animals where you’ll be able to learn why fibers from their coats are so prized. You’ll be their favorite visitor when you give them a snack.
Jammin with Jaguar –Go behind the scenes and help feed one of Audubon’s jaguars and learn about this beautiful animal. For this Wild Encounter, you’ll wear a face mask to keep the jaguars healthy.
Orangutan Family Fun – Learn about our orangutan family and watch as they interact with each other, display in their version of acrobatics, and engage with their care team – and you!
Sea Lion Splash – Tour their special kitchen, check out their diet and get up-close as they work with their skilled care team in training sessions.
Black Bear Bonanza – Accompany keepers in the Louisiana Swamp as they work with and feed Audubon’s three young female black bears.
Giant Tortoise Adventure – Meet Audubon’s oldest resident and learn more about this fascinating species that can live a century or more.
Tickets for Wild Encounters are extremely limited in due to small group size and availability, and some have age requirements for the safety of participants and our animals. For more details and to buy your Audubon Nature Institute Wild Encounters tickets, visit www.AudubonWildEncounters.com