You have a great opportunity to speak with a variety of zoo professionals
-- some with more than twenty years experience around exotic animals.
If you've ever wondered how
zoos do something or what it's like to take care of an animal that would
eat you if it ever had the chance, we'll tell you all about it. Following
all our events, whether it's a big Safari
Canyon presentation or a Meet the
Keeper Series, we always welcome questions.
early in the day or visit on a cool day
The animals are more active during the earlier part of the day when it's
cooler. Also, a cool day when you'd rather not hit the beach is
a great time to see animals feeling frisky. An early arrival also assures
you'll have the opportunity to see all the daily events.
your zoo map & schedule
This is a big mistake most folks make. They stick the map in their pocket or purse and only read it when they get home to discover something they missed. So grab a spot under a shady
tree and make your plans for the day. The daily events and times are listed on your zoo map. Make sure to take in the feature Safari Canyon
shows and the Primate Expedition Cruise. Enjoy the best of the Zoo when you're still at the Zoo!
your eye on the cat's tail
You're going to be very close to many animals. And that's very cool. Just remember, the big cats mark their
territory by spraying -- just like a housecat. And at the Zoo, you're so
close that you'll be well within spraying distance. If a cat raises its
tail, you may want to move aside. You're about to be marked. And if you do get sprayed, you'll have a great story to tell for years to come -- and something in common with every keeper in the Zoo!
early or late
The primates on the islands are frequently resting during the early afternoon.
This is also typically the busiest time to try to get on board. Plan to
do the cruise as early as possible
or wait until late afternoon.
Don't try to touch or feed any native wildlife; almost every animal can
bite. And apply the sunscreen liberally and frequently. Although we have lots of shade under
the trees, the Florida sun is potent even in small doses. Don't get burned
on the first day of your vacation and look like an uncomfortable lobster in the vacation photos! So bring a wide-brimmed hat and remember to get a good high SPF
sunscreen. Learn more about being safe in the sun here.
In case of heavy rain, go to The Zoo Gift Shop. Definitely don't stand
The zoo has benches around the zoo to sit down and take in the sights
and sounds of the botanical garden and its wild inhabitants. Remember
to look up to see some very extraordinary mature
trees growing high into the air or wide across the ground.
shoes are the key to life
comfortable shoes and clothing. Your time in the zoo will be more enjoyable
if you are comfortably dressed.
If you are touring the zoo with children,
it's a great idea to read a book or two with the kids about zoos or a
particular animal prior to visiting the zoo. Check the library or stop by the zoo's gift shop ahead of time to pick out some good titles. Reading about animals can
get the kids even more excited about going to the zoo and will help them to
learn even more at the zoo since they already have some information they
can add to.
Some animals take a few extra seconds to find. Play a game to see who can be the first to spot the animal. Some exhibits like Tiger Forest
and African Oasis camouflage animals very well. Sometimes, the tigers are
just a few feet away behind some foliage. In African Oasis, you'll
probably see the impala first, but keep looking for the very
large kudu. They're often staying cool up on the hill under the palms.
forget the camera!
The Primate Expedition Cruise provide
some great opportunities for photography. And if you have one, bring a
telephoto lens for the best shots. You can also use your zoom lens to focus
out the mesh of the big cat exhibits that don't have glass in order to get beautiful close ups.
Be Friendly and Ask! Get Everyone in the Shot.
Remember to get one of our staff or another guest to take a photo
of the whole family! You'll often be able to repay the favor with another guest who wants their whole family in a photo as well. Don't forget extra film. (If you forget, we also
sell disposable cameras and extra film at reasonable prices in the gift
shop.) Please see our photo policy if you're interested in selling your images.