New Orleans Aquarium, Zoo escape Hurricane Katrina ~ September 3, 2005 (10:30 am Eastern, latest update)
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans apparently survived Hurricane Katrina relatively unscathed according to a report in The Baltimore Sun. Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana city Monday.
According to Ron Forman, president of the Audubon Nature Institute that oversees the city's aquarium and zoo, only a few flamingos died and was little other loss of animal life. The Audubon Zoo also fared well in the storm suffering limited damage from fallen trees.
Located along the banks of the Mississippi River near the historic French Quarter, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has some 10,000 animals and is considerd one of the world's foremost aquariums. Officials closed the aquarium early to prepare for Katrina. When the storm hit the aquarium lost power but relied on generator for keeping critical equipment operational. The aquarium also had plenty of food and freshwater according to an article in Wednesday's Palladium-Item.
The French Quarter of New Orleans, built on the highest ground in the city, suffered less damage than other neighborhoods. The city's highest point is "Monkey Hill" in the New Orleans zoo. During the hurricane, The Dallas Morning News reports that "zoo staff took refuge in the reptile house, which was designed to withstand a major hurricane."
The American Zoo and Aquarium Association reports that the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) lost only a whooping crane during the storm. The facility suffered some leaks at the Research Center. Four animal keepers were flown in by helicopter.
Widespread power outages disabled the Audubon Nature Institute and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas web sites for many hours following the storm.
In neighboring Mississippi, the fate of a group of dolphins moved to Gulfport is unknown. According to The Daily Telegraph, the animals were last seen in a hotel swimming pool, but the storm left the town of 70,000 people under 10 feet (3m) of water (update: six bottlenose dolphins moved to a hotel swimming pool survived the storm and were taken this week to Walton Beach, Florida while nine sea lions from the Mississippi park were sent to Sea World in Orlando, Florida). The Gulport Marine Life Oceanarium aquarium was totally destroyed.
This is a "fantasy aquarium"...
yes, there are Salt Water Fish, Fresh Water Fish, Divers, Mermaids,
and all sort of Sea Life....even a Yellow Submarine.
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