Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Aquarium Welcomes New Penguin Chick

Animal care team at Audubon Aquarium has a new resident to care for these days. Penguin parents Ocio and Hubig are once again the proud parents of a healthy new penguin chick.

The male chick hatched in an incubator February 10th, and is being hand raised by penguin staffers. There were originally two eggs, one remained with the parents in the nest but sadly was infertile. Taking care of a penguin chick means preparing special food and almost round-the-clock feedings.  Initially the chick is fed a diet of liquids before being introduced to the fish he will eat as an adult.


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Roux’s Outdoor Debut at Audubon Zoo

“Roux” Audubon Zoo’s critically endangered orangutan infant in his outdoor habitat with his mother, Menari. Born on Christmas Eve, Roux received months of around-the-clock care from animal care and veterinary staff. Thanks to Roux’s dedicated care team, he has been successfully reunited with his mother and the rest of the orangutan group.

See More Roux Videos At The Playlist Below:

Baby Bootcamp!

Look at Roux go! Every day, Roux's caretakers give him exercise opportunities to encourage him to build up his grip strength and stamina, which staff have nicknamed "Baby Bootcamp". 💪 🦧

"Baby Bootcamp" involves Roux's caretakers walking, bending, turning, and climbing while he clings on. Roux's caretakers also utilize orangutan climbing equipment including ropes and swings to encourage pull-ups, which is where Roux grips to his caretakers' fingers and is lifted up and down.

Hello! My name is ______!

Thanks to the public's support almost 10,000 individuals participated in Audubon Zoo's orangutan infant naming poll. ICYMI The Zoo went live with a naming reveal this morning!

Audubon Zoo is thrilled to announce that its critically endangered Sumatran orangutan infant born on December 24, 2021, has been named Roux. This announcement was made today during a Facebook LIVE on the Zoo’s Facebook page.

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Orangutan Infant Gaining Weight

Audubon Zoo’s orangutan infant is getting stronger and stronger every day. He now weighs 4.9lbs. He’s spending most of his days in the orangutan building getting to meet the rest of the group through visual introductions. The infant's dedicated care team is also giving him more exercise opportunities to encourage him to build up his stamina and grip strength. Naming announcement coming soon!

Video: Newborn Orangutan's Health Continuing to Improve

Audubon Zoo's orangutan infant is continuing to progress in the right direction! His veterinary and care team are very pleased with his improved hydration and how much formula that he is consuming during his feedings. The team has decided that his feeding tube will be removed and that they will monitor him closely for 24 hours to gauge his caloric consumption. He is still slightly weaker than his care team would like, but they believe with his continual weight gain and other positive health advances that his stamina will improve. Audubon's dedicated team continues to work closely with Children's Hospital New Orleans and The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Orangutan Species Survival Plan advisors on next steps for this little warrior. 

Audubon Zoo Consulting With Children’s Hospital New Orleans To Treat Newborn Orangutan

Audubon Zoo’s newborn male orangutan is receiving around-the-clock care by the Zoo’s veterinary and primate care staff under consultation from specialists from Children’s Hospital New Orleans and AZA Orangutan Species Survival Plan advisors.

On December 27, the infant showed signs of weakness and lack of nursing. Based on concerns about the infant’s body temperature and weight, the team intervened to hand-rear and bottle-feed the infant until it can safely be reunited with Menari.   

Menari7 (1)

“The infant’s care team also noticed that his suckling response was weak and inconsistent,” said Audubon’s Senior Veterinarian Bob MacLean. “Children’s Hospital New Orleans offered their support for the critically endangered infant by providing the expertise of a clinical speech pathologist and lactation specialists. The lactation specialists are working with the infant to assess his suckling reflex and train our team to stimulate the appropriate suckling response. So far, this has been very successful.”  

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Four Endangered Whooping Cranes Released Into the Wild Thanks to Conservation Partnership

On November 10, 2021, four juvenile whooping cranes were released into White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area as part of an ongoing effort to protect this endangered species from extinction. After spending a few weeks getting used to their new environment, the cranes will join more than 75 whooping cranes that are part of a population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 

The four chicks being released were hatched and reared at Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans. This is the fourth year Audubon has released cranes in the Louisiana wild; before that, cranes bred in human care were transported and released into a northern flock. This year's chicks were named after "natural phenomena" including Blizzard, Hurricane, Lava, and Aurora. 

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Audubon Staff Costume-rear Endangered Chicks By Dressing Up As Whooping Cranes

The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center’s ability to bring back the world’s rarest crane species. Now, over a year since the pandemic began, Audubon is making a major comeback raising cranes with seven whooping crane chicks currently being reared at its Species Survival Center.


Five abandoned eggs originated from the eastern migratory population in Wisconsin, one egg from the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin, and one egg was the result of artificial insemination at the Species Survival Center.

Six of the chicks are being costume-reared by Audubon staff, while one chick is being parent-reared by its mother and “stepfather,” as this chick was produced via artificial insemination. Audubon staff costume-rear chicks by dressing up as whooping cranes, keeping their true human appearance cloaked in order to ensure they do not desensitize the chicks to humans. During costume-rearing the chicks are taught how to be whooping cranes by using a whooping crane head puppet to demonstrate searching for food, looking out for predators, etc.

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