The Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, seated within Audubon Zoo, has received national acclaim for the innovative portrayal of Louisiana culture. It has been one of the most popular attractions in the history of the Zoo as it explores the relationships between the Cajun people, plants and animals of the swamp, in food, industry and daily life. Although swamps are found elsewhere in the United States, south Louisiana is unique in that a distinct culture developed in this environment.
Audubon chose to highlight the Cajun culture in this exhibit because it is a perfect example of a balanced life within a habitat. The Cajun people only caught what they could eat and learned from the Native American Indians in Southern Louisiana how to economically use the earth’s natural resources. It wasn’t until the 1940s when more people began relying on the swamp’s resources that the balance was threatened and need for conservation arose. To teach visitors about conservation in the Louisiana Swamp, Audubon uses animal exhibits—from black bears to blue crabs, from water snakes to red foxes—educational presentations, and graphics.
The exhibit offers local visitors an opportunity to learn about their own heritage and introduces out-of-town visitors to a fascinating new world that is the Louisiana Swamp. It also serves as an outdoor classroom for school children. With alligator feedings, activities and up-close encounters, both children and adults enjoy a total immersion experience into an unusual and beautiful environment.
Learn more about the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit by watching The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans behind the scenes webisode: