Hundreds of animal species call Florida home, but spotting these creatures in their natural habitat is not always an easy task. For a more intimate look at some of the most majestic and intriguing animals in the sunshine state, take a trip to four of the best activities for animal lovers in Florida.
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
At Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter, FL, nothing is more important than protecting and conserving Florida’s most precious animals. Serving as both a wildlife hospital and animal sanctuary, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary provides visitors with an inside look into the rehabilitation process and release of rescued animals. The winding paths of the sanctuary stretch through lush nature paths and cypress wetlands, which lead visitors through the park as they meet bald eagles, river otters, and even black bears. The enclosures are designed to replicate each animal’s natural habitat to better prepare them for their eventual release back into the wild.
Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
For a more immersive activity for animal lovers in Florida, head over to Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. This zoo places a high importance on animal conservation and protection, and they invite every guest to join in the fight for wildlife preservation. At Zoo Tampa, guests can partake in several up-close encounters with unique creatures, which includes an Indian rhino, African penguin, and African elephant. Guests who want to travel around the park in style can hitch a ride on a guided zoo tram, while adventure seeking zoogoers can take a ride on the Roaring Springs flume ride. There’s even an area of the park dedicated solely to animals native to Florida, including the Florida panther and manatee.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park
Get up close and personal with Florida’s most famous residents at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. Established in 1893, and globally recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, this zoological park has a long history of wildlife preservation. Many animals housed at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm are found on the endangered species list, with many of them listed as critically endangered. The park takes action against extinction with their Species Survival Plan (SSP) for many of its reptilian residents. Each SSP monitors the animal’s breeding to maintain a healthy population for the species. Visitors to St. Augustine Alligator Farm can attend daily wildlife shows, alligator feedings, or take a birds eye view of the park as they travel through the treetops on a zipline and aerial obstacle course.
Take a trip under the sea—meet some new fishy friends at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. This expansive aquarium houses some of the ocean’s most beautiful and majestic creatures. Many of the aquarium’s exhibits focus on Florida’s native creatures and give visitors an intimate look at the animals who reside in their own backyard. The Wetlands Trail exhibit allows visitors to trek through a simulated Florida wetland and meet pythons, alligators, and free-flying birds. The Bays and Beaches exhibit takes guests far below sea level to encounter green sea turtles and goliath groupers. Guests can also embark on a 4-D adventure at the aquarium’s immersive theater.
This is how we plan to spend our day🧘♀️ #NationalRelaxationDay pic.twitter.com/4aODnNf4mV
— ZooTampa at Lowry Park (@ZooTampa) August 15, 2019
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Come hang with us! We're open today, 9:30am-5:00pm. pic.twitter.com/eVfng7XNkV
— ZooTampa at Lowry Park (@ZooTampa) September 3, 2019
Good luck to the @USFFootball team! #GoBulls 🤘🏼💚💛 pic.twitter.com/6m4anQAnel
— ZooTampa at Lowry Park (@ZooTampa) August 30, 2019
At just 2.5 pounds, this little guy is staying close to mom 😍 pic.twitter.com/diWFOt3l72
— ZooTampa at Lowry Park (@ZooTampa) August 20, 2019
Mood on #InternationalOrangutanDay 🤪 pic.twitter.com/J1Yo0xkllz
— ZooTampa at Lowry Park (@ZooTampa) August 19, 2019