The New Orleans Zoo, also known as the Audubon Park, was home to the Native Americans in the earlier days, but was soon turned into a sugar plantation by the first mayor of the city, Etienne de Boré. The place underwent severe changes during the coming years, serving as a Confederate camp and a hospital during the civil war. In 1884, it was developed as the site for the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition and, finally, in 1898 it became the Audubon Park, named after the naturalist John James Audubon, designed by John Charles Olmsted.
Over the years, New Orleans Zoo has become one of the most popular attractions for kids, and a major tourist attraction. The Zoo extends over a sprawling area of 340 acres and is located in a very interesting place- between the St. Charles Avenue and the Mississippi River, overlooking the Loyola University and the Tulane University. The New Orleans Zoo is beautifully done up with lagoons and lush green space, which, together, makes it a favourite picnic spot for family reunions and parties. The Zoo also has a road inside, which makes it popular among the joggers, cyclists and those who love to walk. The zoo, located inside the park, is regarded as one of the premier zoos of the United States.
Interestingly, the New Orleans Zoo has wonderful natural habitat gardens that are maintained impeccably, and houses the rare white tigers and the white alligators. This is definitely one of the major tourist attraction and the kids are just thrilled by it. Along with the rare collection of the animals, it also has a train and swamp exhibit and is definitely worth a visit. It also houses other exotic animals like the rhinos, the sea lions and many other animals. The swamp exhibit is one of the best in the Louisiana. Also in the Zoo is the Jaguar Jungle, the Dragon’s Lair, the Monkey Hill, the World of Primates and the like. One of the best zoos in the country, it offers other types of family entertainment as well, like a championship golf course and a clubhouse.
If you are planning for a trip to the New Orleans Zoo, you should not miss the sea lion and the Asian elephant presentation, it also has the Orangutans, Amur Leopards and various other species that are on the endangered species list. One of the other favorites that you will find here is the Dinosaur Adventure, which takes you back in time to the prehistoric age, complete with the giant replicas of the dinosaurs.
Another interesting attraction at the Zoo is the Safari Simulator Ride, which is definitely hi-tech, and the admission ticket is $5 for non-members. The Swamp Train Ride is just as fun, giving you the chance to see the entire New Orleans Zoo – you must go on this ride at least once. There is a train every 30 minutes, so you get a chance to see the entire zoo in one go!