Hurricane Katrina Zoo Animal Disaster Relief Update

SILVER SPRING, MD ­ Members of the American Zoo and
Aquarium Association (AZA) are responding to their New
Orleans colleagues’ need for help following the devastating
impact of Hurricane Katrina this week. The 211-accedited-
member association today announced plans ­ including a
national fundraising initiative — to help the Audubon
Nature Institute, which includes the Audubon Zoo, the
Aquarium of the Americas, and the Audubon Center for
Research of Endangered Species (ACRES). The facilities and
their staff, like all New Orleanians, are struggling in the
aftermath of the disaster.

“The Audubon Nature Institute staff in New Orleans are not
only colleagues, but they are also our friends, and we all
share a passion for the animals in our care,” said Bill
Foster, DMV, president of the AZA board of directors and
director of the Birmingham Zoo. “The AZA community is
committed to helping our colleagues in New Orleans as they
move beyond this tragedy and begin to rebuild their homes,
their lives and the wonderful facilities of the Audubon
Nature Institute.”

Dr. Foster asked Kevin Bell, President and CEO of Lincoln
Park Zoo in Chicago, to spearhead the AZA member fund drive
to help provide immediate and long-term relief to the staff
and their families, the animals and the facilities in New
Orleans. Bell said that in response to the overwhelming zoo
and aquarium community interest in aiding the Audubon
Nature Institute, a program is now in place enabling AZA
members as well as the general public to donate.

To make a donation, people can visit the Lincoln Park Zoo
web site at Lincoln Park Zoo Animal Disaster Relief or mail a check, made out to The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, and send it to: Lincoln Park Zoo, P.O.
Box 14903, Chicago IL 60614, Attention: Hurricane Katrina Relief.

All donations will be channeled directly to aid the zoo and
aquarium and their staff members in New Orleans. The
Executive Committee of the AZA Board of Directors will
handle the distribution of these funds.

In addition to the fund drive, AZA is coordinating relief
efforts that will provide animal food, veterinary medicine,
fuel and other supplies directly to the facilities in New
Orleans. “Getting help to our colleagues is problematic at
this time due to emergency restrictions,” noted
Foster. “However we are preparing our plan and will be
ready with immediate assistance when supply routes are
open.”

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Marine Life Oceanarium
In Gulfport, Miss., the storm destroyed the Marine Life Oceanarium. The six bottlenose dolphins moved to the Best Western hotel swimming pool, survived the storm and were taken this week to Walton Beach, Fla. Nine sea lions from the Mississippi park were sent to Sea World in Orlando, Florida.

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