Audubon Zoo hosts a crowd of smiles at Special Needs Day


Andres Funetes

Michelle Bossier enjoys a stroll through Audubon Zoo on Nov. 2, 2019.

Andres Fuentes

The animals at the Audubon Zoo woke up an hour early Saturday morning to greet families on the sixth annual Special Needs Day.

The park grounds offered quiet zones, animal encounters and a wellness fair, accommodating any visitors that may need assistance.

“Our goal is to make those that are differently able, who have an exceptionality, to feel welcome as any other zoo guest,” Eileen Lumar-Johnson, Director of Community Relations, said.

Families were greeted with warm welcomes, tote bags and free carousel rides as a way to bond with each other while enjoying the zoo’s exhibits and attractions.

But for families that might have missed the day, Audubon Zoo has quiet areas, a sensory-rich environment and all of their attractions are accessible to anyone with special needs.

“Audubon’s commitment is to make sure that visitors of every age and every stage feels welcome,” Lumar-Johnson said. “Everyday we are committed to make sure our special needs guests feel welcome.”