Burreaux the giraffe (copy)

Burreaux, a young giraffe, died at the Baton Rouge Zoo in September 2021. 

The Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo join in grieving the recent mysterious death of our beloved Burreaux. We, too, await necropsy results to learn the cause of this untimely loss and to provide insight into the numerous other zoos who helped us.

However I wish to share some extraordinarily good news with our community:

From among the 118 chapters across the nation, zoos large and small, BREC's staff of dedicated zookeepers received recognition as the American Association of Zookeepers' Chapter of the Year for 2021.

Despite aging and often outdated facilities (we're working very hard to update and improve), moderate budget, our size as a mid-sized metropolitan area, and lack of national name recognition, our zookeepers are the very best in the nation. They earned this recognition for their level of professional care and management, their dedicated volunteer fundraising activities, their parishwide educational and public outreach activities, and their commitment to pursuing continued professional development.

The keepers of BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo achieved this outstanding recognition in the face of severe hurricanes and extreme winter freezes. They reached out to neighboring facilities and willingly shared their own financial, time and staffing resources. They very simply set the standard of excellence to which all other zoos will now strive to reach.

Our little ole zoo has a staff of keepers, the friendly faces you meet at our zoo, the nice people who bring petting animals into our schools, the industrious folks who reach out to enrich our community, and, yes, the persons who grieve the most when, in the course of nature, death takes one of our animals from us, keepers that deservedly earned their recognition as this year's very best.

Congrats, zookeepers!

JOE SIMMONS

president, Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo