Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens are a hidden gem that every traveler to the city should experience. They are located right in the middle of Jacksonville. This magnificent zoo features a wide variety of exhibits that place an emphasis on education, conservation, and animal welfare. The zoo, which covers 115 acres, is one of the largest and most diverse in the Southeast United States, with more than 2,000 animal species and 1,000 plant species.
The Jacksonville Zoo was first established in 1914 as a modest children’s zoo that was run by the women’s club. The zoo has grown and changed over time to become a top-tier organization that has gained acclaim for its research, conservation initiatives, and project-based learning initiatives.
The zoo is divided into a number of exhibit areas that replicate various world landscapes, including those of Africa, South America, Australasia, and the East African Plains. Each exhibit is like entering a different world, complete with genuine environments that have been specifically designed to meet the needs of each animal.
The African Savanna, one of the zoo’s most notable exhibits, is home to a variety of famous African creatures, including giraffes, zebras, and rhinoceroses. By taking the safari tour, which enables them to ride through the Savanna and have a close encounter with some of the resident species, visitors can get up close and personal with these majestic animals.
The Range of the Jaguar is another exhibit that attracts a lot of visitors. Collections of jaguars and other creatures from South American rainforests are on display in this exhibition. It is intended to be an immersive experience that combines lush jungle vegetation, undiscovered caves, waterfalls, and animal habitats to produce an exciting and realistic environment.
The Asian Bamboo Garden is the ideal location for anyone seeking peace and tranquility. Along with exotic birds and Asian small-clawed otters, the garden has a variety of bamboo species and other native plant species from Asia. The garden is the ideal location for a romantic date or a serene afternoon stroll because it is created to be a tranquil oasis that promotes relaxation and tranquility.
The zoo exhibits stunning botanical gardens that display tropical and subtropical plants from all over the world in addition to the animal exhibits. The botanical gardens offer a variety of gardens, showcasing the diversity of plants from all over the world, such as a butterfly garden, rose garden, and pollinator garden.
Although the zoo is a well-liked family attraction, there are also many opportunities for adults to learn about conservation and animal welfare there. Through its Behind the Scenes tours, the zoo allows visitors access to areas that are typically off-limits to the general public. Visitors can take a tour of the zoo’s animal hospital, discover how the keepers take care of the animals, and even assist with feeding some of them.
The zoo also provides a variety of educational initiatives aimed at educating visitors on sustainability and conservation. Experts from the zoo and other organizations lead the monthly lectures and discussions in the Discovering Wildlife Series. A variety of subjects are covered in the series, such as species preservation, habitat preservation, and animal behavior.
The Splash Ground water park is one of the zoo’s most distinctive features. In the sweltering summer, this water park is a well-liked destination for visitors of all ages. Families with young children who want to have fun and learn about the value of water conservation can visit this location together.
More than just a place to see animals, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a hub for education, nature immersion, and global engagement. Everyone will find something at this hidden gem, which features everything from the African Savanna to the Southeast Asian bamboo gardens. The zoo offers a singular experience that allows guests to form connections with both the surrounding natural world and the animals that live there.
Be sure to include the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in your itinerary if you’re thinking about visiting Jacksonville. You won’t be let down by what this undiscovered gem has to offer.