Wow! The saying is true, time flies when you’re having fun! I can’t believe the Season One finale of the The Wild Animals of New Orleans is this week.
From going behind the scenes with Sea Otters Buck and Emma, hunting for bugs in the swamp for the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, to celebrating Casey the Gorilla’s 31st birthday, we’ve had a great time taking viewers inside many never-before-seen aspects of Audubon’s attractions (head to www.realwildanimals.com to watch all the web shows).
This week’s finale pays homage to what makes Louisiana so special: our swamps! We are taking you on an adventure in the Lousiana Swamp Exhibit at Audubon Zoo, learning what goes on before the zoo opens as the staff and trainers prepare the animals for the day.
Everyone has a morning routine, including the animals at the LA Swamp Exhibit! You’ll meet Rick Atkinson, Curator of the exhibit, and his team of dedicated trainers who love taking care of all the swamp creatures. This fun and informative web show airs Thursday at 6pm, so make sure to log on and watch!
In the meantime, here are a few interesting tid-bits about the LA Swamp Exhibit:
• The exhibit was built in 1984 and is one of the most popular exhibits at Audubon Zoo.
• The LA Swamp exhibit has won national awards for its innovative portrayal of Louisiana culture.
• The lagoon features 5 adult alligators ranging from 6-11 feet long.
• Audubon staff raised the exhibit’s Bob Cats from tiny week old kittens.
• The white alligators are two of 18 found in 1987 near Houma, Louisiana.
And finally, I’d like to say THANK YOU so much for watching The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans!!
We can’t wait to bring you Season Two…coming soon!! Story ideas? Send me an email at ChrissKnight504@gmail.com or comment below.
Would you eat fried crickets for dinner, or how about a spider “lolly pop” for a snack? While the thought of eating bugs might make you cringe, it’s actually a common practice in many cultures around the world. In fact, according to National Geographic, it is estimated that more than half the world's population eat a variety of flying, crawling, and biting bugs. Bugs are packed with protein, and, if you can get passed the thought of eating wings and legs, actually have a nice nutty flavor!
This week’s webisode celebrates the art of eating insects with an Arthropod Throwdown at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium’s bug café “Bug Appetit”. Audubon’s own, Zack Lemann and Jayme Necaise, take on world-renowned Chef Tenney Flynn of G.W. Finns in a cooking competition like none other!
Before a big crowd, both teams cook up tasty bug dishes for the audience and panel of judges to sample and decide the winner. The judges include interior designer Chet Pourciau, food editor Judy Walker, and meteorologist Hank Allen.
You might be surprised to learn who won! Make sure to head to www.realwildanimals.com at 6pm on Thursday to find out!
To learn more fascinating facts about insects, make sure to visit Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, located in the US Custom House on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans.
Also, I came across this interesting article that suggests the top 8 bugs to eat. Among the list include beetles, butterflies, bees and wasps! Click here to read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130514-edible-insects-entomophagy-science-food-bugs-beetles/
Ever been invited to a birthday party for a Silverback Gorilla and a Sea Otter? We’re hanging out with a few party animals in this week’s webisode of The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans, as two special animals celebrate their birthdays!
The staff at Audubon Nature Institute love throwing birthday parties for the animals at Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. If you happen to be at an Audubon attraction the day an animal is celebrating a birthday, you are in for a treat!
We go behind the scenes with the Audubon team as they wrap presents (boxes stuffed with fresh fruit and veggies) for Casey the Gorilla, and create a frozen “birthday cake” for Buck the Sea Otter.
It’s a site to see…these animals LOVE their special birthday treats, tearing open presents and diving into their cakes in their exhibits as visitors enjoy the view! Not only are these birthday parties fun for the animals, spectators and staff who put the parties together, but it is also another form of enrichment for the animals.
You’ll learn all about these wild parties in this week’s webisode, so make sure to watch! Interesting facts from Audubon Nature Institute about the birthday boys:
Casey the Silverback Gorilla (31 years old):
Buck the Sea Otter (16 years old)
Head to www.RealWildAnimals.com this Thursday at 6pm to check out Casey and Buck’s birthday parties!
Speaking of parties, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is hosting its 4th Annual Scales and Ales event, Friday, September 20th. Partygoers will enjoy bites and vrews including: Abita Beer, wine, specialty cocktails, and delicious cuisine from more than 30 local restaurants. Live entertainment featuring Atlanta’s Simply Irresistible and the New Orleans Sirens. Click here to purchase tickets.
This exhibit is packed with interactive elements that are fun for the entire family. From crabs, to red fish and even small bait fish, each exhibit highlights the Louisiana fishing industry and pays homage to the seafood we love to sink our teeth into!
One exhibit highlights Louisiana’s fish tagging program. Did you know thousands of recreational fishermen tag fish and release them back into the water for another person to catch?
If you happen to catch a tagged fish, you’re asked to report the tag’s serial number by calling the agency listed on the tag. The idea is to have a better understanding of where the fish go, how far they swim, and how old they might be….which brings me to this AMAZING article I have to share!
Audubon’s Assistant Curator of Fish, Dee Murphy, found this write up about a tagged fish in Florida caught nearly 25 years later! This really hits home the importance of the fish tagging program. Here’s the link to this fascinating story: http://fw.to/iZkzfoM.
The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans crew also takes to the water in this webisode…but do we catch a tagged fish or tag any fish ourselves? Find out heading over to www.realwildanimals.com Thursday at 6pm!