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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – On Wednesday, the hashtag #CuteAnimalTweetOff took off on the internet with zoos and aquariums across the globe chiming in with some of their cutest animals from almost every species you could imagine.

Now another hashtag is trending, #Cutewithacause, which is seeking to raise awareness to the conservation efforts put forth by zoos and aquariums around the country.

The Twitter picture tweet off started early Thursday morning when the Houston Zoo tweeted about their efforts to provide medical care for sea turtles. From there, the hashtag took off with facilities around the nation tweeting out their own conservation programs and re-tweeting others to raise awareness, including those here in New Orleans.

Right in our own backyard, the Audubon Institute provides services for many different conservation efforts. Among them:

  • Coastal Wildlife Network habilitates marine mammals including dolphins, whales and manatees and also sea turtles.
  • The Mississippi Sandhill Crane Recovery program breeds and releases the endangered crane only found in Mississippi.
  • Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center works to improve populations of dwindling species including whooping cranes, sandhill cranes, clouded leopards, red wolves sand many more.

“We care for very cute animals at Audubon Nature Institute,” said Katie Smith, director of public relations. “But the heart of what we and fellow AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums do is to collectively partner to save animals from extinction and protect them for future generations.”

For a more comprehensive look at Audubon Institute’s conservation programs and how they give back to our community and environment, click here.