We are members of the zoo, so we have a year round pass. Katelyn wanted to go visit again, on her last day before school started.
So yes, Woo-Hoo, we went to the Zoo, and we were crazy to do it.
OH MY GOSH – It was 100 degrees in the shade and there wasn’t even an inkling of a breeze.
I was sweating in places where I don’t have sweat glands.
It’s all good. Katelyn had a great time, and her mother and I survived!
A little about the Baton Rouge Zoo
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo was a dream of the Recreation and Parks Commission as early as 1960. In 1965, the taxpayers passed a millage election that provided more than three-quarters of a million dollars to build the facility. At that time, a Zoo Director was employed to help design and implement the plans for the Zoo. Matching funds were obtained from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.
Construction began in 1966 and BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo first opened to the public on Easter Sunday, 1970. The residents of East Baton Rouge fully embraced the concept of the new Zoo, and a sense of ownership was instilled in the community, aided by the urging of television personality Buckskin Bill. The words of Buckskin Bill, “Baton Rouge needs a Zoo” at the end of his television program rallied the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish.
Entertainment and Culture
The Zoo is a place where people connect with animals. Over the past forty years, the Zoo has grown to become the #1 year-round family attraction in Baton Rouge. With more than a quarter million guests each year, the Zoo attracts visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The Zoo is a favorite place for families and groups to discover the animal kingdom.
Today, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is home to animals from around the world including tigers, black rhinos, flamingos, alligators and giraffes. The Baton Rouge Zoo was the first zoo in Louisiana to achieve the distinguished honor of being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. As a leader in the zoo field, the Baton Rouge Zoo was accredited in 1977, four years before any other zoos in the state and eight years before such accreditation was mandatory for membership in this prestigious professional association.
The Zoo is very active in conservation programs and fully participates with other zoos around the world in nearly 30 international Species Survival Plans (SSP) for critically endangered species. Three of these SSP animals, the Guam Rail, Arabian Oryx, and Golden Lion Tamarin, have been successfully reintroduced into the wild and represent living proof of our long-term commitment of reintroduction to strengthen and supplement wild populations of endangered and threatened wildlife.
Education and Research
The Zoo conducts active outreach and in-house educational programs. These programs are aimed at making the public aware of the problems confronting the wildlife of the world. Our educational programs reach thousands of children in school groups each year. Educational programming has expanded to include activities such as community outreach programs, reading programs, day camps, weekend classes, teacher workshops, on-site live animal and artifacts encounters and demonstrations. The demand for our educational programs increases every year.
We also work very closely with the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine conducting research on several species. Behavioral studies are also conducted through other departments at Louisiana State University as well as other colleges throughout our region.
Our zoo isn’t huge by any standards, but it’s quite nice. Lots of places to sit throughout the compound, several places to get “eats”, a fantastic gift shop, and of course, our favorite thing (besides the animals)…the train ride.
It’s takes about 15 minutes or so, to travel along the perimeter of the compound. We should have been smart and took the train just before we were ready to leave, so that we could have cooled off a bit, before returning to the car – BUT – Katelyn was so excited, that we went ahead and hopped on as soon as we arrived. We were really lucky that we got to see the pair of tortoises that live near the back of the zoo. They spend about 90 percent of their time inside their little “tunnels”, so getting to see one of them it a treat but getting to see both of them, happens very rarely. Now, you all know how I feel about turtles, so getting to see these tortoises was a big deal to me.
The tigers were sound asleep.
They are massive in size.
And now for your viewing pleasure, some random shots from our morning at the zoo.
And because I haven’t posted a pic of either of my turtles in a day or two…
To learn more about and to connect with the Baton Rouge Zoo:
See ya on the flip side!