Aquarium of the Americas:
An intergral part of the Audubon Institute, the Aquarium of the Americas was forced to shut down following Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent loss of power. However, it has been reopened and expanded since then to the delight of native New Orleanians and tourists alike.
Penguins and Sea Otters:
Among the most popular exhibits are the penguins and playful sea otters. Both penguin colonies, the African Black-footed and the Rockhopper penguins, survived Katrina and were evacuated. They have now returned to delight their handlers and their devoted public. Sea otters Buck and Emma are happy to be back here too.
Spots, Sea Horses, and The King:
Spots is the white alligator resident of the Aquarium. He has a genetic mutation that causes his coloring--talk about steely blue eyes! The Seahorse Gallery showcases some of those beautiful mystical denizens of the sea, a species that is rapidly dwindling in the wild. King Midas, the 300 pound sea turtle, came home in October 2005 to live in the Gulf of Mexico exhibit.
Caribbean Reef and the Amazon Rainforest:
Enter the Caribbean Reef through a 30-foot-long water-filled tunnel and see tropical fish of all shapes and sizes, immersed in 132,000 gallons of water. Sharks get up close and personal.
In the Amazon Rainforest, the tropical vegetation gets misty, but the parrots and macaws seem to love it.
Gulf of Mexico Exhibit and the Jellyfish:
Sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays are among the many species swimming in the Gulf of Mexico exhibit, displayed in an illuminated tank. The jellyfish exhibit is hypnotic, with its black-lit illuminated tanks and the fluorescent languid inhabitants.