Zoo and Aquarium ranked in the top 10 as best in the country

Jim Hanzo
April 06, 2017 - 8:33 am

A USA TODAY Readers' Choice poll voted the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the America's both in the top 10, for best zoo and best Aquarium.     

The Aquarium was voted as 4th best in the country, the Zoo at number 9.  Head of the Audubon Institute Ron Forman is very happy.  

"That's significant because, here in New Orleans, we work hard to provide quality experiences for our family, to teach about wildlife and the environment and we want it to be a fun place," Forman said.  

Forman says New Orleans is the only city in the country to get 2 major attractions in the top 10. 

He calls both the Zoo and the Aquarium the family side of tourism.

"We're the 'Disney of New Orleans,' we're the 'Six Flags of New Orleans,' and we are proud of that number and we're proud of the economic development we create, and the jobs we create with our facilities," Forman added.       

He says it's that support they get from New Orleanians that really matters. 

"There's a great passion where people remember when they were a kid or they remember when they were with their grandparent, the experience they had coming to one of our facilities and those memories are lifetime experiences that stick with them forever," he said.   "We have hundreds of thousands of people that support us.  We are about teaching kids about the importance of nature and we just feel great about the recognition we're getting for that."   

And Forman says, expect a new jaguar jungle exhibit at the zoo, a new elephant experience just opened up,  and he says the aquarium is now 25 years old and they are planning a complete 'redo' of the facility. 

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