Explore Our History
Penguins, Sea Otters from New Orleans Find Refuge in Monterey
May 2005Two sea otters and 19 penguins rescued from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans arrive safe and sound after a cross-country trip via cargo plane. The Aquarium asks us to accept the animals temporarily while it recovers and rebuilds after Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, hurricane damage to the Aquarium's life support system means that much of its aquatic collection is lost.
Some of the 16 blackfooted penguins from New Orleans are related to those in our Splash Zone exhibit and share a penguin colony with them at the Audubon Aquarium. The new arrivals also include three rockhopper penguins collected in the wild in Chile.
The two sea otters, Buck and Emma, were both stranded as pups, rescued through our Sea Otter Research and Conservation program, and sent to New Orleans.
Soon after their arrival, the New Orleans penguins join ours in the Splash Zone, and Emma frequently joins our all-female otter exhibit, while Buck stays behind the scenes. After an eight-month visit, all of our guests return home on May 22, 2006, as the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas prepares to re-open.