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Zoos in Jacksonville, Florida, attract visitors with the promise of magical encounters with nature and a trip into the fascinating and varied world of wildlife. Jacksonville, a bustling city on Florida’s scenic First Coast, is home to an astounding number of zoological parks, each dedicated to conservation and teaching and having a special appeal.
In this article, we set out on a thrilling journey around Jacksonville’s zoos, learning about their fascinating histories, varied animal residents, and the crucial roles they play in promoting an appreciation of the biodiversity of our planet.
1. Zoos in Jacksonville
1.1 Lynnwood Park Zoo
Since it was established in 1990 by Bob and Sherry Shoup, Jacksonville, North Carolina’s Lynnwood Park Zoo has a long and illustrious history. It began as a little petting zoo but has now grown to become a tourist attraction with educational and entertaining features. There are currently approximately 50 creatures living in the zoo, including tigers, lemurs, and rare birds.
1. The African Savanna
The African Savanna exhibit is the focal point of the Lynnwood Park Zoo visit. Here, tourists may get a close-up look at the majestic wildlife of Africa. Famous animals that live there include lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinoceroses. The wide-open setting resembles the animals’ natural habitat and offers an engrossing experience.
The world of primates, such as lemurs, chimpanzees, and gibbons, is fascinatingly explored in this exhibit. Watching these sophisticated animals in action is fun and interesting since it reveals their social interactions and amazing adaptability.
The Lynnwood Park Zoo has a sizable aviary that is home to numerous unusual and eye-catching bird species. It’s a fantastic chance for bird aficionados to see a variety of birds, including macaws and toucans.
The Reptile House is a must-visit for individuals who are fascinated by the world of reptiles. Visitors can see a wide variety of turtles, lizards, and snakes here. The display underscores the significance of these frequently misunderstood creatures in preserving natural harmony.
1.2 Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens have a long history in the Springfield district, dating back to 1914. In 1925, it relocated to its current spot along the Trout River. The zoo had financial issues in the late 1960s, but a reconstruction project in 1992 brought in almost $20 million.
The zoo grew and gained new attractions like the Children’s Play Park, Savanna Blooms Botanical Garden, and the Range of the Jaguar. In 2003, it expanded to 89 acres and received the name Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
It now houses more than 2,400 unusual animals and 1,500 plant species and actively participates in breeding and preservation initiatives for endangered species and native flora and fauna.
1. Range of Jaguar
The Range of Jaguar exhibit at the Jacksonville Zoo is among its most recognizable displays. With the help of this immersive exhibit, visitors may enter the heart of a Central American rainforest, where Jaguars roam freely. The display teaches visitors the value of protecting these elusive animals’ native habitats in addition to showcasing their beauty and majesty.
2. Land of the Tiger
The Land of the Tiger exhibit provides a rare chance to experience the strength and grace of these magnificent animals. The Malayan and Sumatran tigers call this exhibit home. Visitors can observe them playing, relaxing, and swimming in settings that nearly imitate their natural habitat.
3. African Loop
A collection of displays called the African Loop depicts the wide variety of wildlife found on the African continent. A multi-species savanna display with greater flamingo exhibit, aldabra tortoise, and warthogs. The Savanna Blooms botanical garden, which highlights a variety of indigenous African flora, is another attraction of the African Loop.
4. Stingray Bay
Stingray Bay offers visitors the chance to interact with friendly stingrays up close by feeding and petting them. This interactive exhibit fosters a deeper awareness of marine life and the significance of ocean conservation.
5. Gardens at Trout River Plaza
The Trout River Plaza features a variety of colourful flowers and plant species, offering tourists a tranquil and scenic setting to explore.
6. Tuxedo Coast
The fascinating exhibit Tuxedo Coast is devoted to the endearing and charming penguins. This exhibit, is home to species like Magellanic Penguins.
7. Asia Bamboo Garden
This display mixes the tranquility of an Asian Garden. Visitors can enjoy a unique and instructive experience in the Bamboo Mist Forest, home to bronze Giant Panda sculptures.
8. Australian Adventure
The Australian Adventure exhibit highlights the distinctive biodiversity of Australia and its environs. It includes cassowary, emus, and colourful lorikeets.
2. A Sanctuary for Life
The immersive displays at Lynnwood Park Zoo and the gorgeous jaguars at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens provide a singular opportunity to learn about biodiversity and the value of protecting it.
Jacksonville’s zoos offer various experiences for visitors of all ages, from the lush landscapes of renowned wildlife sanctuaries to cutting-edge conservation activities and interesting educational programs.