NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Beloved actress Betty White died on Friday, just over two weeks away from her 100th birthday on January 17th. The tributes did not stop ringing long after the former “Golden Girls” star passed away.
A notable display of appreciation for the comedy icon and pioneer, whose career spanned more than seven decades, came from the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans.
Hours after her death, the Institute took to Twitter to confirm Betty White’s involvement in rescuing animals from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans following the devastation caused by the Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
It was a generous act of kindness, for which White never asked credit.
The tweet read:
We have lost an advocate for the environment, an advocate for animals and a friend. When the penguins and sea otters were evacuated to @MontereyAq for Hurricane Katrina, Betty White paid for the plane to move them. She didn’t ask for a fanfare; she just wanted to help. #Thank you for being a friend
– @ AudubonNature
A spokesperson for the Audubon Nature Institute told WGNO that White helped charter a plane used to transport relocated penguins and sea otters to their temporary home at the Monterey Bay Aquarium after the floodwaters flooded the city and left the aquarium dark and stuffy.
The institute could not disclose the amount of White’s donation, but confirmed that the eight-time Emmy Award winner and the TV Hall of Fame in 2005 were the largest financial contributor.
From a tweet from Tom Dyer, a 21-year former Aquarium of the Americas employee who claims he flew with an aquarium vet on the plane, the pilot revealed that the cost of the flight that took 19 penguins and two sea otters to California was approximately $ 70,000.