New Orleans,
11
March
2020
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09:43 PM
America/Chicago

Audubon Nature Institute and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

May 29

Audubon Zoo is pleased to announce plans to reopen to the public on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Following the guidance of State and City public health directives, Audubon is moving forward with reopening its family of parks and museums following a phased approach that strictly limits attendance and programming. Read more: https://bit.ly/2zLeqjx

May 26

Audubon Nature Institute is progressing with its phased recovery and will reopen The Golf Club at Audubon Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The golf course closed on Saturday, March 21, 2020 following with the City, State, and U.S. Center for Disease Control's guidelines for safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Audubon Clubhouse Café will remain closed.

The golf course follows the reopening of Audubon Riverview Park (also known as the "Fly") to vehicles and Audubon Tennis. Audubon Zoo is making plans to reopen in early June to limited capacity. Read more: https://bit.ly/2TH59zC

May 13

Per State and City public health directives, Audubon has received approval to move forward with reopening its family of parks and museums following a phased approach that strictly limits attendance and programming. Audubon Riverview Park will reopen on Saturday, May 16, to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only. Vehicular traffic will not be allowed. Audubon Tennis will reopen Wednesday, May 20, with a limited schedule and appropriate social distancing measures. Audubon Golf Course will remain closed at this time, and more information on plans for its reopening will be announced soon. Planning is underway to reopen Audubon Zoo in early June. Read more: https://bit.ly/2WunrWB

May 11

Audubon Nature Institute is looking forward to welcoming the community back to our parks and museums. Per state and city public health directives, Audubon will follow a phased approach that strictly limits attendance and programming. Along with attendance limits that support physical distancing, other safety initiatives include online timed ticketing, requiring staff to wear masks in public spaces, and stringent cleaning protocols. We will announce our plans to reopen safely for our employees and guests once we have finalized these new operating procedures.

May 7

  • Audubon Zoo Summer Camp is cancelled for the season.
  • Private events at all Audubon facilities are cancelled through August—including G.U.L.F.’s Summer of Sustainability Dinner Series.

April 28

With the uncertainty of the times, Audubon Executive Team has been forced to make the following operational decisions regarding facility closures and cancellations.

  • Audubon Cool Zoo and Gator Run will remain closed for the 2020 Season.
  • Zoo Summer Camp will be cancelled for June 2020, July 2020 camps are still pending decision.
  • Audubon Zoo Lights presented by Children’s Hospital 2020 will be cancelled.
  • Private special events at all locations through May 30, 2020 will be cancelled or rescheduled.

April 9

Starting Sunday, April 12, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center - Natutre Trails, Interpretative Center and Planetarium will be closed to the public.

April 5

There are no symptomatic animals at Audubon Zoo. According to our colleagues at WCS, the tiger at Bronx Zoo was infected by the person caring for the cat and was asymptomatically infected with the virus. (you can view the full press release from WCS here). To reiterate WCS’s statement, there is no evidence that any person has been infected with COVID-19 in the US by animals, including by pet dogs or cats. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals can become infected by the coronavirus, but scientists don’t believe they can spread it to humans.

Because the belief has been that some primates as well as bats and exotic swine such as babirusas could be susceptible to COVID-19, Audubon’s animal care staff have been taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of these animals.

  • Animal care staff are split into two teams to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination among staff.
  • Animal care staff are wearing masks and gloves in the areas of the animals that are at a potentially higher risk. 
  • Animal care staff are practicing physical distancing while getting creative with enrichment activities to ensure these more vulnerable species remain safe while staying engaged throughout the day. 
  • Staff are disinfecting common touchpoints in animal areas throughout the day.

Now that it is known that big cats are susceptible to COVID-19, these safety precautions and protocols will be immediately implemented for all of our cats (lions, tigers, leopard, jaguar, ocelot, and serval) as well as adding otters and ferrets.

Please follow this newsroom for updates.

April 2

In following with the Governor’s proclamation, the following Audubon facilities will be closed to the public until at least April 30.

Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Escape Extinction Sharks, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, the Interpretative Center and Planetarium at Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Riverview Park (the Fly) and Audubon Golf and Tennis.

The following events have been cancelled:

  • The Mother’s Day Celebration at Audubon Zoo 
  • The Mother's Day Brunch at Audubon Tea Room 

Please follow this newsroom for updates.

March 21

In following with the City, State, and U.S. Center for Disease Control's guidelines for safety, Audubon has made the decision to close Audubon Riverview Park (The Fly) to pedestrians and vehicular traffic as well as Audubon Golf and Tennis.

Audubon Park will remain open, while encouraging social distancing of 6 feet or more and frequent hand-washing.

Please follow this newsroom for updates.

March 19

In following with the City, State, and U.S. Center for Disease Control's guidelines for safety, Audubon has made the decision to close the following:

Audubon Park 

  • Playgrounds
  • Exercise equipment
  • Water fountains
  • Bathrooms

Audubon Riverview Park (The Fly)

  • Playgrounds
  • Water fountains
  • Bathrooms
  • Ballfields

Audubon Riverview Park will also be closed to vehicular traffic.

Audubon Park will remain open, while encouraging social distancing of 6 feet or more and frequent hand-washing.

Please follow this newsroom for updates. 

March 18

In following with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States for the next 8 weeks, Audubon Nature Institute will be postponing and rescheduling the following:  

Rescheduled: 

  • Hancock Whitney Zoo-to-Do - Friday, September 11  

  • Zoo-To-Do for Kids presented by Children’s Hospital New Orleans – Friday, August 28  

Postponed: 

  • Party for the Planet presented by Entergy: Spring into Action - date TBD 

Cancelled: 

  • Audubon Supper Club  

  • Music Under the Oaks 

The following facilities are closed until further notice,Audubon Zoo, Audubon Park Clubhouse Café, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Escape Extinction Sharks, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and the Interpretative Center and Planetarium at Audubon Louisiana Nature Center pending any further directive or guidance from the City or State. 

The Nature Center’s trails, Audubon Park and Riverview, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Golf Course, and Audubon Tennis will remain open and operate as usual. While utilizing these public spaces, Audubon reminds visitors to follow safe behaviors by washing hands frequently, avoid touching their face and practice social distancing.  

Cancelling events and being closed for an extended period of time will have a significant impact on Audubon’s overall operating budget. The public can join Audubon’s recovery effort by supporting the animals and parks in our care as Audubon staff work to sustain core operations and ensure the long-term viability of the organization. During this temporary closure, please check Audubon’s social media channels for regular updates, photos and videos. 

 

Please follow this newsroom for updates.  

 

March 16

In accordance with City and State guidelines Audubon Park Clubhouse will be closed until at least April 30.

 

Please follow this newsroom for updates.

March 13

Audubon Nature Institute Facilities Temporarily Closing

In following with the Governor’s proclamation banning gatherings of 250 or more people, Audubon will be closing our admission facilities to the public effective tomorrow, Saturday, March 14, until further notice pending any further directive or guidance from the City or State.

Facilities include Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Escape Extinction Sharks, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and the Interpretative Center and Planetarium at Audubon Louisiana Nature Center.

The Nature Center’s trails, Audubon Park and Riverview, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, the Audubon Park Clubhouse and Golf Course, and Audubon Tennis will remain open and operate as usual. Private events will only be hosted in the Audubon Tea Room and Audubon Clubhouse for parties under 250.

While there has been no evidence at this time that any employee, volunteer or visitor has the virus, Audubon admission facilities will be closing for this time period and postponing all Audubon-hosted events, including Education overnights, and Party for the Planet presented by Entergy: Spring Into Action to help protect the public’s health by implementing the state’s recommendations to limit community interactions. The Music Under the Oaks concert series has been cancelled.

Critical operations staff, including animal care staff, security and other selected employees, will continue working at our facilities to provide vital care to our animals and infrastructure.

“Our community is known the world over for our resilience, and this challenge will be no exception,” says President and Chief Executive Officer of Audubon Nature Institute Ron Forman. “Creating connection is at the heart of our mission and we look forward to welcoming families back to our facilities as soon as possible.”

All Audubon animals are healthy and will continue to get the dedicated and professional care in which they always receive. Audubon plans ahead for the animals, and currently has a surplus of essential food and medical supplies. Animal care staff will prepare contingencies and proactively monitor the supply chain to assure essentials remain on hand.

General admission tickets purchased for entry March 14, 2020 through March 28, 2020 will be valid for a year from the purchase date of the ticket. Field trips scheduled during the closure are encouraged to reschedule but will also qualify for a refund. All overnights scheduled during this time will be rescheduled or refunded.

The public can join Audubon’s recovery effort by supporting the animals and parks in our care as Audubon staff work to sustain core operations and ensure the long-term viability of the organization. During this temporary closure, please check Audubon’s social media channels for regular updates, photos and videos.

Please follow this newsroom for updates.

March 11

The health of guests, our community and staff is a top priority for Audubon. Executive staff continue to diligently monitor the developments of the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and are following updates from the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Health Department, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to prevent the spread of the virus. Teams across Audubon are preparing contingency plans for both daily operations and public events should alterations become necessary.

At this time, all Audubon attractions will remain open, as the risk to the majority of the public remains low. To ensure your visit is safe, here is what we are doing:

  • Increasing routine environmental cleaning at all Audubon facilities
  • Emphasizing the importance of staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
  • Advising employees before traveling to take precautionary steps.
  • Closely monitoring CDC and City of New Orleans updates

Please follow this newsroom for updates. 

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.