( Source : Friends of Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge Press Release)
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge Grand Re-Opening of Exhibits
Friends of Black Bayou and the Refuge invite all to the Grand Re-Opening of their new alligator habitat and renovated exhibit room at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge’s Conservation Learning Center, Monday, April 22, at 6:30 pm.
A ribbon-cutting, Cajun food and drink, and recognition of donors will be followed by a special presentation about alligators by founding refuge manager Kelby Ouchley, as well as a night hike, especially for kids, led by ranger Nova Clarke.
The new habitat for young alligators and turtles is the star of the show, but everyone will be amazed by the entire immersive experience, including a whole-room mural putting the viewer “in” the swamp. Artists Emery Thibodeaux and Brooke Foy did the painting and sculpting, while refuge manager Erin Cox and Assistant Manager Adam Rogers provided lots of innovative, creative and skillful construction and plumbing work. Refuge Ranger Clarke has been gradually introducing the animals to their new homes, while volunteers have assisted in countless ways.
The major donor for this project was the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, with other large donations coming from CenturyLink, Louisiana Pain Care, and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ouachita. Other generous gifts added up to over $40,000, with matching funds provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Stylish green fund-raising T-shirts depicting Emily Caldwell’s excellent Alligator Sketch are on sale in kids’ and adults’ sizes in the refuge’s gift shop!
Anybody interested in learning more about these fascinating antediluvian reptiles might be interested in Kelby Ouchley’s excellent book American Alligator, ancient predator in the modern world
Anybody interested in learning more about these fascinating antediluvian reptiles might be interested in Kelby Ouchley’s excellent book American Alligator, ancient predator in the modern world.