New Orleans,
15:43 PM

Audubon Nature Institute Hosts “Bat Week’’ Activities

Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28

Just in time for Halloween, Audubon Nature Institute is celebrating “Bat Week’’ at Audubon Louisiana Nature Center and Audubon Zoo.

The Nature Center will host a full day of “Bat Fest’’ activities on Saturday, October 27, from 10 to 4 p.m. with a special bat hike at dusk.

On Saturday October 27, and Sunday, October 28, Audubon Zoo will celebrate “Bat Week’’ at the “Criaturas de la Noche’’ (Creatures of the Night) Bat House in Jaguar Jungle from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Zoo will close at 3 p.m. both days to prepare for the Boo at the Zoo Halloween event.

“We are so excited to celebrate bats at the nature center and the zoo,’’ said Brenda Walkenhorst, Audubon Nature Institute Director of Education Projects. “These are the perfect venues for a celebration of these valuable mammals. We have a ton of fun activities planned for all ages. Our goal is to get people to enjoy learning about the positive impact of bats on our environment.”

On Saturday at Bat Fest, Loyola University professor of biological sciences Dr. Craig Hood will make a presentation on the “Benefits of Bats’’ at 4:15 p.m. in the Nature Center’s planetarium.

Throughout the day, guests also can enjoy bat crafts, a “Gardening for Bats’’ session offering information on foods that benefit bats, free bat recipes, a bat mascot and face painting. Offerings from a food truck and concessions will be available for purchase.

From 10 a.m. until noon, visitors can participate in “Pull for Bats,’’ a community service volunteer activity where they can help remove invasive plant species from the nature center grounds. To sign up for activity, contact Jamie Orth at Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves and meet in the breezeway outside the Interpretive Center for 10 a.m.

All “Bat Fest’’ activities are free except for a 7 p.m. bat walk along the nature center boardwalk that includes a small fee. To register for the walk, click here.

The planetarium, which features a state-of-the-art full dome projection system and surround sound audio, will have showings on Saturday October 27 at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are available on site and at Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Credit cards accepted at the Nature Center, but not cash. The Zoo, Aquarium and Insectarium can accommodate cash sales.

Planetarium tickets are $6.50 for adult and senior Audubon members and $7.50 for non-members; $5 for child Audubon members and $6 for non-members.

On Saturday October 27, and Sunday, October 28, Audubon Zoo will celebrate “Bat Week’’ with a craft table for kids, an education table with bio facts and fun bat information and keeper chats about caring for bats.

Inside the bat house, guests will get a glimpse of a jungle teeming with life after nightfall as they gaze into a 42-foot, transparent flyway filled with more than 200 Seba’s short-tailed bats and get a close-up look at other animals that thrive in the dark.

The nocturnal house also features vampire bats, ringtail cats, red-eyed tree frogs, giant cave roaches, Anthony’s poison arrow frogs, Costa Rican zebra tarantulas and engaging douroucouli – also known as Nancy Ma’s night owl monkeys.

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.