Showing posts with label Central Florida Zoo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Central Florida Zoo. Show all posts

May 31, 2019

Choo Choo to the Zoo Returning this Summer


SANFORD, Fla., May 30, 2019—Starting Monday, June 3, ride SunRail to the Sanford Station and catch a ride on Choo Choo to the Zoo, a free shuttle that will take you to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens!

This service will be provided to riders from the Sanford SunRail Station to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens through Friday, August 9, 2019. Choo Choo to the Zooshuttles will be available on weekdays (Monday–Friday), at select times between 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM.

Riders who show their SunRail ticket or SunCard at the Admissions Window will receive a 20% discount on single-day Zoo admission or admission for the Upland or Rainforest course at Seminole Aerial Adventures.

"We’re excited to once again partner with SunRail, the City of Sanford, and the Sanford Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to offer Choo Choo to the Zoo,” said Dino Ferri, CEO of the Zoo. “The beauty of this service is that it encourages the use of public transportation in our community, which is great for conservation, all while giving folks another way to come enjoy the Zoo."
  
For train times and additional information about Choo Choo to the Zoo, visit SunRail.com.

May 12, 2019

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens to host Pet Amnesty Day


SANFORD, Fla., May 10, 2019On Saturday, June 1, residents of Central Florida will be allowed to surrender their exotic pets from 10 AM to 2 PM without penalty or cost, whether they are being kept legally or illegally.

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), will be hosting a Pet Amnesty Day at the Zoo's front entrance. The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program offers an alternative to releasing unwanted pets and helps reduce the number of nonnative species being released into Florida habitats.

This free event is open to the public. Professionals from each organization will be onsite with information about caring for exotic pets, responsible pet ownership, and potential ecological impacts of invasive species in Florida. Animals that will be accepted include nonnative species of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates. Domestic animals such as dogs, cats guinea pigs, and rabbits will not be accepted.

Please note—finding homes for large pond turtles including red-eared sliders, yellow-bellied sliders, cooters, chicken turtles, and redbelly turtles can take longer than a year. Owners of these turtles should contact the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline.

Some surrendered animals will be made available for adoption to pre-registered individuals the same day. Exotic pet adopters are required to be experienced and must be approved by the FWC prior to the event. There are no adoption fees, but potential adopters must register a minimum of one week before the event to adopt an animal. Approved adopters must bring their acceptance letters with them to the event.

For more information and adoption applications, please visit www.myfwc.com/nonnativesor call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681). Exotic pet owners who cannot attend the event can call this number year-round for assistance in finding a new home for their animal. 

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 (read our original review)
    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 (read our original review)
    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 (read our original review)
    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!

April 30, 2019

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens to host three local cleanup events


SANFORD, Fla., April 29, 2019—The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is inviting local residents to Spring Into Action by volunteering at three upcoming cleanups.

“Creating opportunities for our community to take action is a cornerstone of the Zoo's mission," said Dino Ferri, CEO of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. "We want to help people understand how they can take simple steps in their daily lives to help our environment."

These projects are funded by a grant from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)designed to help accredited organizations encourage communities to get involved with local conservation efforts.

April 1, 2019

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens to host its third-annual Plant Swap


SANFORD, Fla., April 1, 2019The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will be partnering with Orlando Permaculture to kick off National Garden Month with its third-annual Plant Swap on Saturday, April 6. The Zoo is inviting residents of the Central Florida community to bring or swap a non-invasive plant. In exchange, each adult participant will receive one ticket for single-day admission to the Zoo. (Limit one per adult. Tickets valid through December 31, 2019.)

“We are excited to partner with Orlando Permaculture to offer this event for our community. As a botanical garden and conservation resource, it is important that we educate people about protecting our environment,” says Dino Ferri, CEO of the Zoo. “With all the construction across Central Florida, we are losing a lot of green space. Many people don’t realize caring for plants at home can actually provide opportunities for them to reduce their carbon footprint."

March 14, 2019

Choo Choo to the Zoo Returns with Free Shuttle Service to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens


SANFORD, Fla., March 14, 2019 Next week, ride SunRail to the Sanford Station and the Choo Choo to the Zoo will be waiting to take you to the Central Florida Zoo!

The shuttle is provided courtesy of FDOT and SunRail, and will travel between the Sanford SunRail Station and the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. The service will be offered during the week of Spring Break only—Monday, March 18, 2019 through Friday, March 22, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

January 30, 2019

Brews Around the Zoo Returns to the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

SANFORD, Fla., January 30, 2019—Brews Around the Zoo, presented by Wayne Densch, Inc., is returning for its twelfth year at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens on Saturday, April 13 from 6 PM to 10 PM.

This wildly popular event directly supports the Zoo's animal welfare, conservation initiatives, and education programs.

Over 1,800 guests are expected to attend this adults-only night featuring food samples from local restaurants, live music, special animal encounters, and over thirty different craft beers. Tickets for the event are all inclusive for beer and food samplings and will go on sale through UNation on Friday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m. Multiple ticket options are available.

The Zoo will also host A Taste of the Wild Beer Pairing Dinner, featuring beer from Wicked Weed Brewing based in Asheville, NC. This year, the dinner will take place the evening before Brews Around the Zoo—Friday, April 12 from 6:30 to 9 PM. Tickets to A Taste of the Wild Beer Pairing Dinner include General Admission tickets to Brews Around the Zoo on Saturday.

This event is held rain or shine. All guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend; a valid ID will be required along with your ticket upon admission. Guests with infants and/or small children will not be permitted to enter the gates under any circumstances.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To obtain more information please contact the Zoo’s event manager by phone at 407-323-4450 ext. 103 or e-mail atmegans@centralfloridazoo.org.


Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to over 350 animals in Sanford, Florida. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in conservation, providing experiences that excite and inspire actions on behalf of wildlife. More information is available at www.centralfloridazoo.org.
 
Seminole Aerial Adventures at the Central Florida Zoo is a self-propelled challenge course for all ages. Woven into the natural forest are three courses designed to test you, physically and mentally. Swing, climb, and balance across dancing logs, tight wires, rope bridges, nets, & exhilarating zip lines. This featured attraction, just before the Zoo's entrance, gives both nature lovers & challenge seekers the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of adventure in Central Florida.

Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation is a cutting-edge conservation facility dedicated to propagation of and reintroduction of the federally protected eastern indigo snake. More information is available at www.centralfloridazoo.org/about-the-zoo/ocic.

January 16, 2019

Tickets On Sale Now for Zoolarious: A Night of Comedy at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens


SANFORD, Fla., January 16, 2019—The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens guarantees giggles at this night of comedy for a cause. Attendees will enjoy exclusive access to the Zoo, up-close animal encounters, and a one of a kind performance by SAK Comedy Lab, Orlando's Best Rated Live Improv Comedy Club.

This event, which will directly support the Zoo’s animal wellness, conservation, and education programs, will take place on Thursday, February 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

September 30, 2018

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens mourns the loss of beloved giraffe



SANFORD, Fla., September 29, 2018 - The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is saddened to announce the loss of their resident male Baringo, commonly known as Rothschild, giraffe, Emba. He was born October 23, 1995 at the Oklahoma City Zoo and resided at several other facilities before arriving at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens from White Oak for the opening of their new giraffe habitat in February 2014.

Emba was 22-years-old. The median life expectancy for giraffe is 20 to 25 years.

On April 7, 2018, the Zoo staff found Emba lying on his side—an abnormal position for a giraffe. Animal care and veterinary teams immediately responded to the habitat to assess his condition. The decision was made to separate Emba from the Zoo's other two male giraffe for safety and to assist with behavioral observation and administration of medication. Initially, the cause of condition was unknown and staff consulted with veterinarians at several AZA accredited zoos who have worked with similar geriatric giraffe cases.

September 20, 2018

Zoo Boo Bash is brewing at Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens


SANFORD, Fla., September 20, 2018 - Ghosts, goblins and ghouls planning on spooking their way through Sanford can mark their calendars to stop by the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens for their annual Halloween event presented by Orlando Health.
 
"We are excited to be able to bring this wildly popular event back for two weekends this year." said Megan Shutts, the Zoo's Events Manager. "Strong partnerships with organizations like Orlando Health, allow the Zoo to offer a safe environment for families with kids of any age to enjoy these fun events."

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