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BREC’S Baton Rouge Zoo Supports Regional and National Economy

June 03, 2011

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo generates significant economic benefits locally, regionally and nationally, according to a new analysis conducted on behalf of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

"BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo supports the community in more ways than one," said Jim Maddy, President and CEO of AZA. "Not only does the Baton Rouge Zoo have a deep commitment to science education and wildlife conservation, but it also generates valuable economic benefits to the region."

AZA has commissioned a state-by-state economic impact analysis conducted by nationally recognized economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller.  The Baton Rouge Zoo, an AZA-accredited zoo, generated the following impacts for the state of Louisiana:

  • $17.67 million in economic activity (contribution to national GDP);
  • $6.23 million in personal earnings (salaries and wages); and
  • 189 jobs.

"Zoos and aquariums, including the Baton Rouge Zoo, play a significant role in the economy of Louisiana," added Maddy.

The Zoo is a valuable community resource, including visits by 28,073 students and teachers every year, and a vital role in wildlife conservation. Beyond these important community benefits, the Baton Rouge Zoo has the following economic impact:

  • BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo employs 91 people;
  • BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo spends nearly $4 million each year on goods and services;
  • BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo serves more than 260,000 visitors each year.

Dr. Fuller writes in his report:

"Annual spending by zoos and aquariums for operations and capital projects generate significant economic benefits for their host jurisdictions. These benefits build from the initial outlays, as they are re-spent across the breadth of the economy.  These benefits accumulate and expand the economy's total output as measured by their contributions to Gross Domestic Product and respective Gross State Products.  These benefits also generate new personal earnings to the benefit of workers residing in the host jurisdictions and support job growth locally, regionally ands nationally."

The cumulative economic impact of 212 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums as they serve more than 179 million annual visitors is as follows:

  • $16.0 billion in economic activity (contribution to national GDP);
  • $ 4.7 billion in personal earnings (salaries and wages);
  • 142,000 jobs.

A copy of the report can be found at

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo is a place where people connect with animals, including elephants, giraffes, rhinos and alligators. The world-class Realm of the Tiger is now open featuring highly endangered tigers, Siamang gibbons and beautiful Asian birds. Visitors can enjoy the new Flamingo Cove and Giants of the Islands, featuring the Zoo's Chilean flamingos and Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises, as well as the Safari Playground, the Otter Pond, our exhibit featuring a replicated fishing cabin with underwater viewing of the otters, L'aquarium de Louisiane, Parrot Paradise and KidsZoo. Adults and children can ride the Cypress Bayou Railroad on a scenic ride through the unique Louisiana habitat that surrounds the core Zoo.

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Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit

Fun Fact
A group of rattlesnakes is called a rumba.
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