AMAZON & BEYOND
The 27-acre, $50 million Amazon and Beyond exhibit showcases Tropical American animals such as jaguars, the largest cats in the western hemisphere; giant river otters, which can grow up to six feet long; anacondas, the mightiest snakes on earth; and harpy eagles with talons the size of grizzly bear claws.
A 48,000-gallon aquarium will give visitors the feeling of being in the Amazon as the water rises above head level. Surrounded by the Village Plaza, there are three areas: the Cloud Forest, Amazon Forest, and Atlantic Forest that house more than 600 animals from the region. Throughout the forests, children can have fun in animal-inspired playgrounds and the Fiesta Children’s Fountain, a fun area that shoots out water from a motion-sensor grid. Fiesta Café serves up a Tex-Mex inspired menu in the Fiesta Village for patrons’ convenience.
The Asian River Life exhibit invites the visitor to walk among cooling waterfalls, tropical mists and the exotic sounds of wild Asia to encounter the small-clawed river otters, clouded leopards, and Asian water monitors. The Falcon Batchelor Komodo Dragon Encounter houses the largest, most powerful lizards on earth from the island of Komodo. These ancient beasts, the national treasure of Indonesia, reach nearly 10 feet in length and weigh up to 300 pounds. Among the spectacular temple ruins of Angkor Wat from Cambodia prowls the powerful, majestic Sumatran tiger. The Kaziranga Camp Rhino Encounter allows visitors to feed endangered greater one-horned Indian rhinos.
THE AMERICAN BANKERS FAMILY AVIARY, WINGS OF ASIA
The American Bankers Family Aviary, Wings of Asia, the largest Asian-themed aviary in the Western hemisphere houses more than 350 birds exotic, rare and endangered Asian birds representing about 85 species, including brilliantly colored pheasants, hornbills and pigeons, who show off their shimmering, iridescent plumage in a large, lush, free-flight enclosure that provides the birds unencumbered flight. Tiny and large birds swoop overhead, perch on branches and even strut and stroll right by the visitor. Aquatic birds can be observed swimming above and below water from the air-conditioned Observation Center, and from behind two waterfalls from the Potamkin Conservation Center. The air is alive with beautiful bird songs, trickling brooks and five waterfalls.
Embark upon an African safari to observe gerenuk, pygmy hippos, giant eland, and greater kudu. Reticulated giraffes, ostriches, Grant’s zebras and gazelles graze together on the African Plains. See the most beautiful eyelashes in nature up close while hand-feeding the giraffes at the Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station. Experience the forests of the Dark Continent as you encounter the family life of the powerful lowland gorillas and the chimpanzees. Many other fascinating animals are to be discovered in Africa, including the critically endangered black rhinoceros, whimsical wart hogs, African wild dogs, okapi, and the threatened elephants.
An international safari is not complete without a trip Down Under. Meet New Guinea’s singing dogs and Australia’s Matschie’s tree kangaroos, emu, and a koala. Visitors will also enjoy hand-feeding parakeets, cockatiels and rosellas at Wings Down Under: A Parrot Feeding Adventure.
DR. WILDE’S WORLD
Dr. Wilde’s World provides hands-on interactive exhibits in a magnificent air-conditioned gallery. More than just displays to look at, this 7,000-square-foot exhibit invites visitors to touch and investigate a wide variety of artifacts and unique specimens. When searching for tiny marvels through a microscope, the adventures atDr. Wilde’s World are sure to engage the explorer in all of us! A beautifully landscaped plaza that comes to life with large sculptures of animals from river habitats around the world surrounds the museum. Sounds of birds, insects and the river animals fill the air. Traveling exhibits have included Amazing Animals: Built to Survive, Dinosaurs Live!, Creatures of Habitat: A Gazillion-Piece Animal Adventure, The World of Giant Insects, The Scoop on Poop, Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly, Discovering Chimpanzees: The Remarkable World of Jane Goodall, and National Geographic’s Crittercam: The World Through Animal Eyes. During Halloween, the museum turns into Dr. Wilde’s Creepy House, which will make you scream with unparalleled chills and thrills.
THE CHILDREN’S ZOO
The Children’s Zoo is home to Humpy’s Camel Rides, which allow zoo visitors to sit high atop a graceful camel. Riders experience the traditional form of transportation used by the desert people of Africa and Asia for thousands of years. The South African meerkats are a show all
by themselves, and visitors can get a fun-filled, close-up view as these animals dig their tunnels, stand sentry and frolic together Beautiful butterflies busily pollinate the flowers and shade trees in the Butterfly Garden where you can observe the stages of development in the life of a butterfly. Kids of all ages enjoy the Wildlife Conservation Carousel with 30 handcrafted replicas of endangered animals. Children’s Zoo Theater presentations feature local and exotic wildlife. And the newest addition to the Children’s Zoo, the Wacky Barn, allows guests to pet and feed sheep, miniature horses, goats, alpaca, and many more farm animals.
The recreational area features “wet” and “dry” playgrounds for kids to enjoy: Jungle Journey and Ocean Voyage. With over 1.5 acres of play and picnic space, kids ages 12 and under have plenty of room to explore the splashing water features and jungle gym while parents supervise in comfortable shaded seating. In the Jungle Journey playground, children have 11 play features to help them create their own adventures. While the jungle gym could keep them busy for a while, kids can find themselves making their way past a wobbly bridge, through a hollow log and escaping life-size gorilla and hippo figures. Their imaginations may take them on a wild journey, but kids remain safe on spongy floors as they bounce around the playground. After their jungle adventure, kids can cool down by splashing through spouting blow holes and overflowing buckets of water in the Ocean Voyageplayground. This water-themed area includes 28 features that are guaranteed to get kids dripping wet. It would be hard to stay dry around water shooting cannons, a whale tail waterfall, and touch-activated rods spraying water. The ocean theme comes to life with shells and glossy starfish on the floor as guests walk in.
FLORIDA: MISSION EVERGLADES
Zoo Miami’s upcoming Florida: Mission Everglades exhibit will showcase some of our state’s most amazing and treasured natural wonders to our more than 970,000 yearly visitors. Opening in late-2016, Florida: Mission Everglades will immerse visitors in native Florida ecosystems including the Everglades, pine rock lands and coastal habitats. Signature Florida species represented will include the Florida panther, wood storks, bald eagle, herons, pelicans, black bear, crocodiles, and alligators. Florida: Mission Everglades will celebrate our state’s incredible diversity and the zoo’s unique ability to deliver an unparalleled experience. This exhibit will give us an opportunity to showcase our commitment to wildlife conservation and our belief that one of the greatest legacies we can leave future generations is the opportunity to experience nature as close to its original pristine state as possible.