A White Tiger at the Miami Metro Zoo
Originally opened in 1948 as Crandon Park on an island on Key Biscayne, the Miami Zoo opened in its current location in 1980. The zoo is spread out over 740 acres with only 300 acres developed.
It is located at the south end of Miami, about 45 minutes from the beaches and downtown Miami. Three miles of walkways wind through the Miami Metrozoo’s natural habitat settings featuring more than 1,200 wild animals and 900 species of trees, palms and plants.
Miami Zoo Exhibits
The newest exhibit, Amazon and Beyond, opened in December 2008, with over 100 species of Central and South American animals such as anacondas, toucans, giant anteaters, red eyed tree frogs, jaguars, giant river otters, harpy eagles and vipers. At Quetzals World, a costumed storyteller interacts with the audience to educate about quetzals and tropical wildlife while solving an ecological mystery.
The Miami Metro Zoo is known for its Aviary, Wings of Asia, which is the largest open aired Asian aviary in the western hemisphere at 54,000 square feet with 300 exotic and endangered birds.
A few of the birds you will see at the Miami Zoo Aviary include: cranes, rails, pheasants, hornbills, pigeons, black-browed barbets, sultan tits, Javan cochoas and blue-masked leafbird.
Throughout the exhibit, visitors can explore waterfalls, a temple ruin, dinosaur castings and footprints and bird skeletons. In the Field Research Center, visitors can explore dinosaur and bird evolution, with castings of dinosaur fossils and bird skeletons, and search for a 40 foot long dinosaur skeleton in a mock excavation pit.
Childrens Zoo at Miami Zoo
The zoo also has a Children’s Zoo with a wooden carousel with 30 different hand carved animals, a petting zoo, a butterfly garden, a meerkat exhibit, a creepy crawler exhibit and camel rides.
The petting zoo includes a pot belly pig, polish hens, and other animals that kids can get close to and pet in many cases.
The meerkats are fed daily at 12:30 pm, which makes for a good show.
Amazon and Beyond
The Amazon and Beyond exhibit is new at the Miami Zoo. It is a 27 acre recreation of the Amazon with with Giant River Otters, Jaguars, Eagles, and the Anaconda - the largest snake in the world.
There are 100 species and over 600 new animals.
A Sunbear sleeping at the Miami Metro Zoo
Miami Zoo Special Programs
The Miami Metrozoo offers many tours and activities, all for a fee, such as, zookeeper for a day, zoo sleepovers, walking tours, behind the scenes tour, meet the zookeeper and kids classes.
The zoo hosts many great community events such as the Feast with the Beasts, Great Egg Safari, Zoofari Camp and MetroBoo!
Membership: Join the Zoological Society of Florida (ZSF) and enjoy free admission to the zoo for a year. Free or reduced admission rates for members of other zoological societies or various science. Likewise, membership in the ZSF may give you discounted admission to other zoos and museums in the United States. Zoo membership gives you an inside track to tickets to some of the zoo’s popular community events.
Too tired to walk? The zoo offers strollers and wheelchairs for rent, an air conditioned monorail, safari cycles, public tram tours and Segway rentals. But it will cost you, so bring lots of money.
Typical zoo food is offered at different locations.
An Otter at the Miami Zoo
One of the many lizards at the Miami Metro Zoo
Miami Zoo Hours and Directions
The Miami Zoo Hours:
Open daily 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, 365 days a year.
Admission rates for 2009 not including tax: Adult 13 + $15.95, children 3 – 12 $11.95, and children two and under free, ZSF members free.
Miami Metrozoo is located at 12400 SW 152nd Street, Miami, FL 33177, Phone: 305-251-0400Hours: Open daily 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, 365 days a year. Admission rates for 2009 not including tax: Adult 13 + $15.95, children 3 – 12 $11.95, and children two and under free, ZSF members free.
Miami Zoo Website.
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