Audubon Zoo

Annie Kinler Matherne

The humble little honey bee is one of the most important players in our ecosystem. On this week’s show, we circle the globe in pursuit of a honey of a tale. We begin right here in our own backyard at the Audubon Zoo. While more exotic creatures may be what draw the crowds, both native and European honey bees can be found bumbling around the zoo's grounds. Curator Dominique Fleitas gives us a tour of the Pollinator Garden and shows us the hives she helps maintain in the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit.

The legendary Ella Brennan in the kitchen with Emeril Lagasse
Commander's Palace Facebook Page / Commander's Palace

On this week’s show, we look back on the lives of some extraordinary people we lost in 2018. We begin by revisiting our 2011 conversation with the late, great Anthony Bourdain. We had the opportunity to speak with Anthony after he was hired as a scriptwriter for the HBO series, Treme. Seven years later, we were absolutely devastated when we heard of Anthony’s suicide and remembered that long ago conversation.

  

  On this week's show, we take a deep dive into the cuisine of our friends in the animal kingdom.

We begin at the Audubon Zoo, where zookeepers forge a nurturing connection with each animal they care for -- especially at meal time. Curators Liz Wilson and Dominique Fleitas invite us along as they make their daily rounds at the Zoo.

Ron, Moon And The White Alligators Of Audubon Zoo

Aug 17, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection

Today, the Audubon Zoo is treasured by residents and visitors alike. But it wasn’t always that way. When the mayor assigned Ron Forman to remake the Zoo, it presented a formidable challenge. In this edition of NOLA Life Stories, Ron takes listeners through the evolution of the Zoo, and describes the arrival of a certain white alligator 40 years ago.

Audubon Zoo

Up in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow, sending shivers down many a meteorologist’s spine and presaging six more weeks of winter — but here in New Orleans we have more, er, refined methods of predicting the weather.

Mark Gstohl / Flickr

Local geographer Richard Campanella has spent the last 20 years studying the city's topography and says that, unlike other cities, New Orleans' highest and lowest points are man-made creations.

Jason Saul / WWNO

Bonnie the rhinoceros, a 15-year-old Southern White Rhino weighing more than two tons, is the latest new arrival at the Audubon Zoo.

Bonnie, who was born and raised at the Lion Country Safari in Florida, joins the one male and two female rhinos already living at the Zoo. Bonnie arrived in late April and has been acclimating herself to her new surroundings.

“The hope is she will breed with our male Saba and produce much needed new blood into the captive rhino population,” says Bill Smith, Audubon Zoo's Curator of Hoofstock.

Jason Saul / WWNO

Panya the elephant celebrated her 50th birthday at the Audubon Zoo last week, and scores of people came out to celebrate.

Panya, a 9,500-pound female Asian elephant, was presented with a birthday cake and presents, as well as a special AARP card. A gaggle of children in party hats serenaded her with toy horns, signed a giant birthday card, and shared in some cake of their own.

She was joined by 7,500-pound Jean, a 41-year-old female Asian elephant who has been Panya's sidekick at the zoo for over 30 years.

Jason Saul / WWNO

The Hornets have played their last game under that team name. Next season they become the Pelicans. The change is meant to tie the team more closely to New Orleans, but it also means the team has a whole new brand, and a new feel to it.

WWNO’s Eve Troeh sat down with two animal experts to take a literal approach to the change from Hornets to Pelicans. Carolyn Atherton is assistant curator of birds at Audubon Zoo. Zach Lemann directs programs at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

Sam DCruz / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/">Shutterstock.com</a>

A 33-pound monkey escaped its enclosure at the Audubon Zoo Friday morning, prompting an hour-long shutdown of the facility while zookeepers wrangled the animal back into captivity and made sure the area was safe.

The monkey, an 11-year-old black-and-white African Colobus named Kivuli, was spotted on the loose at about 10:17 a.m. Zoo officials ushered park-goers indoors and shut the gates of the facility, according to Audubon spokespeople and eyewitnesses.

Kivuli is a Swahili word meaning "Ghost." The monkey was born on Halloween, according to the zoo.

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