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Located in historic Uptown New Orleans Audubon Zoo offers an exotic mix of animals from around the globe, engaging educational programs, hands-on animal.
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We had dozens of breeding projects over the last 15 years. We had a jellyfish gallery 10 years in the making. Catching them is the easier part. Getting them from here to there without mortal damage is what gets complicated.

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Some need time to warm up to captivity, the public — or each other. The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga and the Underwater Adventures aquarium at the Mall of America in Minnesota donated catfish, shark pups, crappie and hundreds of small reef fish.

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A seafood restaurant in Hattiesburg, Miss. Louisiana fishing clubs have offered help to the New Orleans aquarium, which also received an invitation from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago to use its foot research ship, the Coral Reef II, for a collecting expedition in the Caribbean. Another popular spot, the zoo, lost just a few animals and reopened in November. The problems at the aquarium came after workers who had hunkered down in the building during the storm were told to evacuate as the looting edged nearer and floodwaters rose. Ron Forman, president and chief executive officer of the Audubon Nature Institute, which operates the aquarium, ordered his staff out, fearing for their safety.

He stayed behind, joined by several New Orleans police officers, who set up a command post.

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The officers traded their dirty, wet uniforms for gift shop shorts, caps and T-shirts and hand-fed several animals. Some donned scuba gear and began scooping them out. Having worked at the aquarium its entire 15 years, Hewitt had a deep attachment to the creatures. About 2, animals, including penguins, raptors, turtles, otters, the white alligator and some fish such as tarpons that have the capability to breathe air, survived — along with sea dragons, sea horses and clownfish.

The macaws were panting because temperatures in the Amazon rain forest exhibit, with its lush tropical foliage, had soared to degrees. The 19 penguins were dirty and agitated, but aviculturist Tom Dyer was thrilled they were alive. He has taken other trips, too, with some of his charges — even getting a police escort in the post-Katrina chaos to return five rehabilitated sea turtles to the Gulf of Mexico. The aquarium treats endangered turtles that are sick or injured and releases them back to their natural habitat. Dyer had a bittersweet goodbye for 3-pound Mr.

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Chompers, a loggerhead he had nursed back to health after it arrived nearly a year ago weighing a puny 3 ounces. Money is one reason.

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