Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens 

Do you love animals? If so, then the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a must-see. It has been voted as one of the top zoos in North America for five consecutive years by TripAdvisor! The zoo features a variety of wildlife from all over the world, including many endangered species.

Who started the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens? 

In 1891, a local businessman named A.B. Graham donated his private collection of animals to the City of Jacksonville, Florida for educational purposes and public enjoyment. He wanted residents to have an opportunity to enjoy wildlife from all over the world in their backyard! 

What is unique about this zoo?

The most popular exhibit at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is the Giants of the Galapagos. The exhibit features several different species of endangered Giant Tortoises, including Chelonoidis Elephantopus (the famous Lonesome George), Aldabrachelys gigantean (Aldabra Giant Tortoise found on an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa), and Geochelone nigra (Galapagos Giant Tortoise). 

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is also the only zoo in North America with a Komodo Dragon on exhibit! The dragon, named Rinca, is an impressive six feet long and weighs nearly 150 pounds. Visitors can see her eating and swimming in her habitat. 

What can you do at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens?  

In addition to viewing animals in their habitats, visitors can enjoy a variety of interactive exhibits, nature trails, and picnic areas. There is also a children’s zoo with miniature train rides and petting zoos. The zoo offers educational programs for all ages, as well as special events throughout the year. 

What else should you know about visiting this zoo?  

One of the most popular programs at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a behind-the-scenes tour called JeReMy Lion Encounter, where guests have an opportunity to touch and feed one of their lions from only inches away! The program also includes a guided walk through the lion’s habitat and a short show. 

Another popular program is Zoofari Express, where guests have an opportunity to ride around the zoo in their golf cart! This tour includes stops at many of the animal exhibits throughout the day.  

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens also offers a lorikeet feeding experience called Lorikeet Landing. During the experience, guests have an opportunity to feed lorikeets some of their favorite fruits while being surrounded by these friendly birds.  

What are your hours?    

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is open every day except Christmas Day throughout the year! Admission prices vary depending on age and season. For more information regarding admission fees, hours, and special events, visit their website. 

What else should you do while visiting Jacksonville

If you love animals and nature, then a trip to the Zoo is not all you can explore in this wonderful city! For example, if wildlife trips are your thing, there is an Everglades Airboat Tour that offers guests the opportunity to see Florida’s wildlife up close. Guests are also able to experience an exciting airboat ride through the Everglades!

What other attractions should you visit?

Jacksonville Beach is just a short drive from downtown Jacksonville, where guests can enjoy beautiful beaches and much more! It offers many public parks for picnics or relaxing on the beach. 

Visit their website at http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org/ for more information. 

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