Baton Rouge Zoo
|Location||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|No. of animals||1,900|
The Baton Rouge Zoo is located 15 minutes north of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The zoo is owned and operated by the Recreation and Park Commission of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana (BREC), and is home to over 1,800 animals from around the world. The Baton Rouge Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1977--the first zoo in Louisiana to be accredited.
The zoo is open daily except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
A local WAFB TV personality by the name of "Buckskin" Bill ended his popular children's program in the 1950s and 1960s by saying "Baton Rouge needs a zoo." He helped rally the Baton Rouge community into supporting the zoo not only in passing the millage election to fund it but also in running a penny drive that raised over 600,000 pennies for the zoo's first two elephants (one of which was named Penny). The zoo first opened to the public on Easter Sunday, 1970.
The zoo has education programs including outreach, reading programs, day camps, classes, teacher workshops, and demonstrations. Together these programs reach more than 45,000 children each year. The zoo also works with departments of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine when conducting research.