Embracing Nature’s Imagination
The Zoo of Acadiana’s mission to connect people with natural excitement is enhanced through our purpose of embracing nature’s imagination.
The Zoo recieves no city, state, or federal funding; it is supported by guests visiting the zoo and by donations made through the non-profit 501(c)(3) Friends of the Zoo of Acadiana.
A Love of Animals
George Oldenburg left a 21-year banking career in 2002 to pursue his dream of owning a zoo. George often says the zoo allows him to do something personally fulfilling and good for the community. Some say his life has made a complete circle, considering he worked during high school at a small pet shop in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is now fortunate to manage and care for an entire menagerie! George graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then USL) in 1979 with a degree in horticulture business. George’s wife, Marleen, also spends her life caring for others, but as a registered nurse. Animals have always been close to her heart and she has had horses for most of her life. She enjoys stepping in to help at the zoo as often as she can.
George and Marleen’s three sons – Matthew, Michael, and Mitchell – were in elementary school when George said one evening, “I quit my job today, and I’m buying the zoo.” The three boys were ecstatic, to say the least, and spent the next several years loving and learning the zoo life. Matthew shares his parents’ passion for animals and now works fulltime with George at the zoo. He graduated from Tulane University in 2010 with degrees in marketing and environmental biology. In late 2010, Matthew was elected to the Board of Directors of the Zoological Association of America and is the youngest member in the organization. Michael, too, shares a caring passion and is studying pre-med at Louisiana State University (LSU). In 2010, he participated in a special project focusing on genetics of gibbon species. Mitchell, like his brothers, loves the zoo and spends most summers working on projects there. He is also studying at LSU.
The Oldenburg’s, along with devoted staff and supporters, have worked hard to make the zoo a wonderful park for guests of all ages to connect with natural excitement. The Zoo of Acadiana is the place to embrace nature’s imagination and we are excited to share such an amazing experience with our guests.
A Home for Animals
The Zoo of Acadiana opened its doors in the spring of 1992 in Broussard, Louisiana. Since that time, the zoo has grown remarkably, especially in quality. Animal care and guest experience are our top priorities. Now, the zoo is nestled on nearly 45 acres of rolling grounds with a very natural setting and environment. It houses more than 500 animals representing over 150 species! A non-profit, 501(c)(3), organization, Friends of the Zoo of Acadiana, was established to help support the zoo. In 2002, the Oldenburg family purchased the zoo. In 2009, the Zoological Association of America accredited the zoo.
The zoo employes about 25 people and provides daily care and service for the more than 500 animals that reside there. The 45 acre complex serves as an extended classroom for thousands of school children annually.
The zoo offers numerous annual events, such as Zoolebrate, Eggstravaganzoo, Boo at the Zoo, Safari of Lights, and others, to help to raise awareness of our planet's animals and wildlife conservation.
Several endangered and threatened species call the zoo home. The zoo's diverse collection has had exciting births over the years, such as Colobus Monkeys, Ring-tailed Lemurs, and many more.