Baby alligators enlisted in animal therapy program at New Orleans airport
Animal services seized the alligator in Winnipeg on Aug. 28, 2013. (image courtesy City of Winnipeg)
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2018 1:40AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 28, 2018 1:43AM EST
Flyers traveling through Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport this winter are being invited to pet a baby alligator as part of an animal therapy program aimed at de-stressing travelers.
In recent years, airports around the world have recognized the power of cute, cuddly animals for soothing harried, stressed-out flyers.
At first, dogs were the most popular therapy animal of choice. But then came pigs. Miniature horses. And now, in Louisiana -- home to the highest number of alligators in the U.S. -- alligators in baby form.
Every Friday afternoon, the Audubon Nature Institute will be on-site at the baggage claim area where arriving passengers can decompress from their flight by petting baby alligators and posing for selfies.
The baby alligators are between one and three years old and will be given regular breaks, airport officials say.
Denver International Airport has the biggest airport animal therapy program in the US with about 100 dogs and a cat that make up its Canine Airport Therapy Squad. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport uses miniature horses.