Showing posts with label Brevard Zoo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brevard Zoo. Show all posts

May 6, 2019

GUIDE: Orlando-Area Attractions for Animal Lovers

If you're the type to include animal encounters on your vacation itinerary, you've probably already visited SeaWorld and Disney's Animal Kingdom. You've probably popped into Sea Life Aquarium at ICON Park, and maybe you've even made the trek out to Busch Gardens in Tampa (which is totally worth the trip, by the way). BUT did you know that there are many other animal-oriented attractions and refuges that may offer a more intimate experience at a fraction of the cost? We've lined up a handy list of the best animal-centric adventures within one hour of Orlando that you should keep in mind when planning your next visit.

  • Gatorland
    A Kissimmee staple since 1949, Gatorland pre-dates the area's most notable draw - Walt Disney World. Gatorland is an affordable day of genuine Central Florida fun. "The alligator capital of the world", Gatorland is home to more than 2,000 American Alligators, including two rare leucistic gators. A wide array of birds, crocodiles, tortoises, wild cats, also reside in this 110-acre preserve, which features educational demonstrations and interactive experiences as well as the Screamin' Gator Zip Line and the Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure. This has always ranked as one of my family's unanimous favorites, and it's quite possibly the best value in the area. There are always specials, and easy add-ons to upgrade your experience. It's a very memorable, unpredictable day of learning, bonding, and pure unadulterated Florida! There's food on site and plenty of places to sit and just observe. Many extras and they just keep growing. Make sure to take your camera, because these may be some of the best photo ops of your visit!
  • Safari Wilderness
    Nestled within the wilderness surrounded by 870 acres of Florida's Green Swamp, Safari Wilderness is a family-owned, licensed working game ranch located between Orlando and Tampa. Safari Wilderness offers very limited, exclusive encounters with large herds of exotic game over 260 acres of pristine wilderness. Guests can choose from guided safari tours in covered vehicles, on camels, or in kayaks, as well as sunset safaris. Options upgrades allow you to add on feeding experiences for up-close-and-personal encounters. You can also check out their sister location - Giraffe Ranch, with additional tour options by Segway or llama, and even more personal interaction options with assorted species from Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Safari Wilderness Ranch and Giraffe Ranch are Florida agritourism projects licensed by the USDA. 
  • Wild Florida
    Wild Florida is home to more than 200 animals and an assortment of "pure" Florida experiences. Incorporating an animal park with airboat rides, guests have the option of catching wildlife on land or in the water.... but of course, we recommend both! Choose from a half-hour, full-hour, or sunset airboat tours on Lake Cypress. The separately-priced animal park is only $10, and can be visited with or without the airboat tour inclusion. Add-on animal encounters include goat yoga, sloth experiences, gator training, dining with a gator, and the "keeper for a day" experience. Educational animal demonstrations go on all day long, and Wild Florida is set to open a drive-through safari experience soon (the first of its kind in Central Florida)!
  • Exotic Animal Experience
    Located on seven acres of land in East Orlando, Exotic Animal Experience is a privately-owned facility where an entirely diverse menagerie of animals cohabitate essentially as a blended-species family. More than 40 animals call E.A.E. home, including sloths, lemurs, kangaroos, muntjac deer and many more. Visits are scheduled in advance, from Thursdays through Sundays only, and groups are kept to a minimum.
  • Jungle Adventures
    Another location boasting a genuine "cracker" experience, Jungle Adventures is" the natural habitat jungle home" of a range of fascinating residents, such as Florida panthers, black bears, wolves, white-tailed deer, tropical birds, reptiles, and other critters. Enjoy hands-on animal experiences, gator feedings, a ride on the Jungle Swamp Queen Riverboat, and a re-created Native American village.
  • Brevard Zoo
    More than 900 animals call Brevard Zoo home. Attend daily "Keeper Chats" to learn all about the individual residents, and take advantage of personal encounter opportunities. There are lots of educational, hands-on possibilities... especially for children. For an additional fee, you can feed giraffe, kayak through Expedition Africa, mingle with lemurs, and more. Head over to Treetop Trek to soar through lush Florida landscapes and see the zoo from above!
  • Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
    The Central Florida Zoo is home to more than 350 animals, representing over 100 different species. Enhance your standard zoo experience with keeper chats, splash pad play, animal encounters, and a stroll through the vibrant botanical gardens. For a nominal fee, you can add-on train and carousel rides as well as a tour on the ZOOm Air aerial adventure course! Central Florida Zoo hosts many unique social and educational events throughout the year.
  • Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
    The Audubon Center works to protect land, water, and wildlife as Florida’s most influential conservation organization overseeing multiple sanctuaries and leading efforts to preserve the Everglades, coastal bird habitats, and more. Open year-round, Audubon Center for Birds of Prey offers educational opportunities for all ages. The Center provides an opportunity to view up close and personal Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Kites, Owls and Falcons, and many more of nature’s top predators.
Do you know of a worthwhile animal adventure in the Orlando-area that we have overlooked? We'd love to hear about it - drop us an email to share your suggestions!

May 2, 2019

Brevard Zoo releases sea turtle treated for swallowing hook


MELBOURNE, Fla., May 2, 2019 — Yesterday afternoon in Melbourne Beach, Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center released juvenile green sea turtle Kernel. This patient was admitted in January after ingesting a fishhook, which required surgical removal.

Kernel—so named for arriving on National Popcorn Day—was nursed back to health with antibiotics, fluids and nutritional support.

May 1, 2019

Tiny “rock star” antelope born at Brevard Zoo

MELBOURNE, Fla., May 1, 2019 — Brevard Zoo welcomed a new face on Monday, April 15 when three-year-old klipspringer Deborah gave birth to a calf named Clarice. A neonatal exam revealed that the new arrival (who weighed less than two pounds at birth) is a female and is properly nursing from her mother.
“This adorable little girl is doing wonderfully,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs, “Deborah is taking great care of her, grooming her often.”

The newborn, who was sired by four-year-old Ajabu, is currently behind the scenes with her mother and will be introduced to Ajabu before transitioning into the public-facing habitat in Expedition Africa.

After a gestation period of six to seven months, klipspringer typically give birth to one offspring. They are sexually mature at one year and can live up to 18 years in human care. With specialized hooves each roughly the diameter of a dime as an adult, the klipspringer is a skilled climber; it is typically found around mountains, hills and rocky outcrops in its native Africa.

The klipspringer does not face any major threats, but it is sometimes hunted for use as meat or leather.



Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.
Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available atwww.treetoptrek.com.

April 8, 2019

Brevard Zoo opens bear habitat


MELBOURNE, Fla., April 8, 2019 — Brevard Zoo guests can now visit the Florida black bear habitat in the Wild Florida section of the Zoo.
The 5,000-square-foot space, which features pools, trees, boulders and other elements that encourage natural behavior, houses a two-year-old female. She represents the beginning of the Zoo’s commitment to providing a permanent home for rescued bears, and the habitat can accommodate an additional two to three individuals should the need arise.

April 1, 2019

Earth Day celebration returns to Brevard Zoo


MELBOURNE, Fla., April 2, 2019 — Brevard Zoo guests are invited to “Spring into Action” at the Zoo’s annual Party for the Planet on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Party for the Planet is the Zoo’s way of celebrating Earth Day,” said education programs manager Andrea Aubert. “We invite guests to come learn about sustainable living and conservation, and celebrate our world in a fun, family-friendly way.”
Brevard Backyard Beekeepers, Brevard County Natural Resources, Keep Brevard Beautiful, Recycle Brevard and Sea Turtle Preservation Society will be present with hands-on nature play and science activities. Other festivities include a sea turtle obstacle course, recycling workshops, games, crafts, live music, mangrove adoption, native seed giveaways and the opportunity to create enrichment items for Zoo animals.
All activities are included with Zoo admission. The event is presented by the Zoo’s corporate partners.
Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.
Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.

March 14, 2019

Brevard Zoo sees influx of sea turtle patients


MELBOURNE, Fla., March 12, 2019 — Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center admitted 13 green sea turtles between Friday and Sunday. The cause of this influx is unknown.
The turtles arrived in a debilitated state, laden with algae and barnacles that interfered with their ability to swim. Some are suffering from additional ailments like inflammation and sepsis. They are being treated with fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, nutritional support and a safe place to rest.
Though the Healing Center typically only holds around 12 sea turtles at a time, staff and volunteers creatively reconfigured the space to accommodate an all-time high of 26 patients as other facilities in the state also neared capacity. On Monday, 12 turtles were transferred to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

February 12, 2019

Legendary wildlife expert Jack Hanna coming to Brevard Zoo


MELBOURNE, Fla., February 12, 2019 — Brevard Zoo invites the community to attend a ticketed presentation featuring legendary conservationist and media personality Jack Hanna. The event, scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from 12 to 1 p.m., is sponsored by Health First Health Plans.
“We are so lucky to have such a renowned animal expert come to visit,” said Karen Davis, the Zoo’s director of development. “Jack has won over hearts around the world as a beloved naturalist and adventurer, and we can’t wait to give Brevard County the chance to see him in person while supporting the Zoo’s missions of animal wellness, conservation and education.”
Jack Hanna Live! is part of Brevard Zoo’s two-day Safari Under the Stars extravaganza to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Safari Under the Stars is presented by Flammio Financial Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
To enter this event, tickets must be printed and in hand and each guest age three and up must have their own ticket. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at www.brevardzoo.org/jack-hanna.
Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.
Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.

January 28, 2019

Metal menagerie coming to Brevard Zoo


MELBOURNE, Fla., January 28, 2019 — Brevard Zoo guests will soon be able to view not only live animals, but also metal ones hailing from Africa. The 16-piece collection, dubbed “Sculpture Safari,” will be scattered around Zoo grounds.
The menagerie was created by the Ark Collective—a group of 19 young artists in Nairobi, Kenya who were recruited from disadvantaged, impoverished backgrounds. Learning valuable skills such as design, metal cutting and welding provides these individuals with expanded employment opportunities and the ability to positively influence their communities.
The life-size giraffe, elephants, lions, peacocks and other creatures were made from reclaimed materials discarded from the automotive industry and other sources.
Sculpture Safari will debut on Saturday, February 16 and remain at the Zoo through the fall.
Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.
Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.

January 22, 2019

Brevard Zoo greets another baby sloth

MELBOURNE, Fla., January 22, 2019 — On the morning of Friday, January 4, Brevard Zoo welcomed another baby in the form of a Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth. The infant’s mother, 13-year-old Sammy, is taking great care of the as-yet-unnamed newborn.
Sammy’s first child, Tango, also resides at the Zoo and gave birth to baby Lorenzo in October 2018. Tango did not demonstrate interest in her baby, likely because she was a first-time mother, so the decision was made for animal care staff to hand-raise Lorenzo.
“Sammy is not a first-time mom, so she has experience in raising babies,” said Michelle Smurl, director of animal programs at the Zoo. “We’re glad to be able to take a hands-off approach and see the newborn thriving in a more natural setting.”
Fifteen-year-old male Dustin fathered both babies. The newborn’s sex is unknown at the time as testing is needed to determine this information in sloths.
The newborn will remain on their mother for around six months before becoming independent. Sammy and her baby are located in La Selva, but are not viewable due to construction. However, guests have the opportunity to spot the pair from above on Treetop Trek.
Notorious for their slow-paced lifestyle, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths face challenges from habitat loss and the exotic pet trade in central and South America.
Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.
Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.

November 8, 2018

Brevard Zoo welcomes first sloth baby


MELBOURNE, Fla., November 8, 2018 — Brevard Zoo greeted a new furry face on Wednesday, October 17 when Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth Tango gave birth around 5 p.m. The as-yet-unnamed newborn, who is the first sloth born at the Zoo, did not remain with the mother overnight and will be hand-raised.

“When we found the baby away from Tango, we tried to reunite them,” said Lauren Hinson, a curator of animals at the Zoo. “But the new mother was not nursing, nor did she show interest in the newborn. Tango is a first-time mother whose inexperience likely led her to not care for the little one.”

October 25, 2018

Dozenth giraffe calf born at Brevard Zoo

 


MELBOURNE, Fla., October 25, 2018 — Brevard Zoo welcomed a newborn giraffe on Friday, October 19. The little one, a male, was born six feet tall and weighed 158 pounds.

The as-yet-unnamed calf arrived around 5:15 a.m., entering the world feet-first. He is the ninth offspring of 18-year-old mother Johari and the twelfth sired by 20-year-old Rafiki.

“The newborn giraffe underwent a neonatal exam, where we checked his overall health,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “He looked to be in great condition at his checkup on Saturday.”

The calf will remain behind the scenes with Johari for a few weeks before making his first appearance in Expedition Africa.
Eight of the Zoo’s nine giraffe belong to the Masai subspecies, which is native to Tanzania and southern Kenya. Habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest pose the most significant threats to giraffe in their natural habitat.

October 17, 2018

New male rhino stomps into Brevard Zoo


MELBOURNE, Fla., October 17, 2018 — Brevard Zoo welcomed 5,200-pound, 16-year-old Frankie earlier this month. The southern white rhinoceros came from a private facility in central Florida.

Frankie made his appearance in a big way: he was transported into the Zoo on a massive trailer provided by Four C’s Nursery. Guests will be able to visit Frankie in the upcoming weeks when he joins females Uzuri and Kibibi in Expedition Africa. Male Howard will alternate being visible to guests with Frankie.

October 16, 2018

Brevard Zoo opens registration for winter camps


MELBOURNE, Fla., October 15, 2018 — Elementary schoolchildren are invited to explore the history of Florida wildlife and animal adaptations as part of this year’s winter break camps at Brevard Zoo.

This winter, the Zoo is offering two themed camps: Florida Wildlife Expedition and Amazing Animals. Both are broken up for children in kindergarten through second grade and third through fourth grade.

The first camp, which will run January 2–4, invites children to uncover secrets of Wild Florida as they compare local critters to animals of the past and around the world. The second camp will run January 7–9 and allow campers to explore a variety of habitats and discover what adaptations animals need to survive in their environments.

More information and registration is available at www.brevardzoo.org/zoo-winter-camps.

Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.

Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.

October 11, 2018

Hundreds of tiny sea turtles find refuge at Brevard Zoo


MELBOURNE, Fla., October 10, 2018 — Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center is caring for nearly 300 green and loggerhead sea turtle “washbacks” pushed ashore when Hurricane Leslie disrupted their habitat. 

“When sea turtles hatch, they rely on energy stores from a yolk sac to make the multi-mile swim to offshore weed lines—floating masses of Sargassum seaweed that provide shelter and food,” explained sea turtle program manager Shanon Gann. “If the seaweed is disrupted by a storm or strong winds that wash them back to shore, the little turtles do not have the energy to make the long swim again.”

Healing Center staff and volunteers are caring for the washbacks for a few days until open ocean conditions improve; at that time, they will be transported offshore in a boat and placed in weed lines.
Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS) volunteers are transporting the turtles to the Healing Center. Individuals who find washbacks should immediately call STPS at 321-676-1701 or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922 for rescue instructions.

Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.

Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.

Brevard Zoo building home for rescued bears


MELBOURNE, Fla., October 9, 2018 — Brevard Zoo is working diligently with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) to provide a permanent home for bears who cannot remain in their natural habitat due to unfortunate circumstances.
A 20-month-old, as-yet-unnamed Florida black bear arrived in August and will make her appearance to guests in early 2019. The bear has already formed bonds with keepers, who have been providing her with daily interactive enrichments. They report that she is very smart, curious and attentive. The Zoo’s veterinary and animal care staff conducted an overall wellness check and found her to be in good health. 

September 26, 2018

First sea turtle of her kind released by Brevard Zoo


MELBOURNE, Fla., September 24, 2018 — This afternoon, Guacamole became the first adult green sea turtle released by Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center. A crowd of hundreds gathered to watch the 200-plus-pound reptile wade her way into the ocean.
This turtle’s massive size prohibited Healing Center staff and volunteers from carrying her to the beach, so Guacamole “hitched a ride” on a Brevard County Ocean Rescue UTV.
Guacamole was released at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach around 3 p.m. She was found stranded at the same beach back in February with old predator attack wounds.
Guacamole was missing most of her right front flipper and had several lacerations when admitted to the Healing Center. The Zoo’s experts treated her wounds with medication and honey, assisted with her eating and eliminated a parasitic infection before deeming Guacamole ready for release earlier this month.
Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in the fields of animal wellness, education and conservation. More information is available at www.brevardzoo.org.
Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.

September 5, 2018

Brevard Zoo - Boo at the Zoo tickets now on sale


MELBOURNE, Fla., September 5, 2018 — Witches and warlocks planning to brew up something spooktacular at Brevard Zoo’s annual Halloween event can get a head start by purchasing their all-inclusive tickets in advance.
Boo at the Zoo, presented by Renco Electronics, is “an opportunity for families to celebrate the holiday in a fun, safe environment,” said Andrea Hill, director of marketing and communications at the Zoo.
The event will feature more than 30 treat stations, a candy-themed “Boo Choo Train,” nightly costume contests, ample photo opportunities, a haunted house and more.
The event will take place October 12–14, 19–21 and 26–28 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Pricing varies each night; member discounts are available on October 12, 14, 19 and 21. Tickets are available at www.brevardzoo.org/boo-at-the-zoo.

August 14, 2018

Rare piglet first of its kind born at Brevard Zoo


Named Java, the piglet is the offspring of two-year-old mother Piggy and two-year-old father Meru. He is the first child of either parent and the first member of his species ever born at the Zoo.
“Java is barely a week old, but his personality is already shining through,” said Michelle Smurl, director of animal programs at the Zoo. “Piggy is doing an incredible job, especially for a first-time mom.”

June 23, 2018

FLORIDA - Two sea turtles released by Brevard Zoo

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 21, 2018 — Skipper and Ginny are back in the sea. This afternoon, more than 100 animal lovers joined staff and volunteers from Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center as these green sea turtles made their way to the open ocean off Hangar’s Beach.
Skipper was found floating in Port Canaveral after she was struck by a boat in February. Ginny was discovered on the coast of Melbourne Beach in May; when put in water at the Healing Center, she demonstrated buoyancy issues, likely due to a gaseous buildup in her gastrointestinal tract. Both patients were treated with medication, nutritious food and rest.

February 28, 2017

Brevard Zoo Releases Sea Turtle

Earlier this evening at 5 p.m. at Hightower Beach Park in Satellite Beach, Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center released Merriam, a subadult male loggerhead sea turtle. Merriam was admitted last year on Dictionary Day (October 16). He was found floating sideways in the water with barnacles, algae and an open wound on his shell, which indicated a severe body cavity infection. Staff and volunteers treated the turtle with fluids, antibiotics, vitamins and nutritious food and applied honey to his wound.

Found in oceans all over the world, loggerheads are considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Entanglement in fishing gear, poaching, coastal habitat loss and climate change pose the most significant threats to this species.


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