Visiting the Miami Zoo
It’s common to think that when visiting Florida with children, the best city to visit would be Orlando. However, Miami is also a city with great attractions for the whole family; an example of such attractions is the Metro Zoo, the biggest zoological garden in the United States, located Southwest of Miami.
The Miami Zoo covers 300 acres (around 300 hectares), and is home to around 2000 animals, of which 800 are exotic species and 40 are in danger of extinction. With a focus on conservation and education on caring for the environment, it’s possible to see everything from Bengal tigers to black rhinoceros, African elephants, Himalayan bears, kangaroos, leopards, grey gorillas, Saharan antelopes, and Komodo dragons.
This zoo is so large that it’s hard to visit it all by foot. Because of this, they have a monorail system from which you can have an impressive view of the entire park. Another option is the Safari Tram Tour, a sort of tram that carries you to each animal. It’s also possible to travel from one side of the zoo to the other in a pedal car for 5-8 people, which offers you the chance to visit all the installations, while exercising a bit. It’s best not to visit the park in summertime because the overwhelming heat makes moving around less enjoyable; and also the animals are less active, and thus it’s more difficult to see them.
The Miami Zoo offers 2 principal exhibitions: The Ecology Theater in the Children’s Zoo, and the Wildlife Show. The first, features animals native to Florida like snakes and lizards; and the second, features mammals, reptiles, and birds from all over the world.
Among other activities, the Zoo also offers the chance to visit Critter Corner at Sami Amphitheater, for children to play in spaces simulating wilderness. Children can climb up the Hippo Slide, an inflatable slide 11 meters high and 53 meters long, that might be among the biggest in the world. In Meet the Zookeeper, young and old can observe the animals in action and learn about them. And those who which can go to Humpy’s Camel Rides and take a ride on dromedario (camel), just as in Africa for thousands of years.
If visiting with small children, a visit to the children’s zoo is wonderful. There you’ll see a butterfly garden, meerkats, roosters, chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and parrots. In the aviary, Wings of Asia, you can also be awed by more than 300 asian birds flying freely. And on the farm, you can also touch and feed the animals and learn about the importance of different species on the planet.
The Miami Zoo also offers nighttime programs so you can observe nocturnal animals at their most active.
The Zoo has 3 eating areas, wheelchair rental, and plenty of free parking, which makes it very convenient if you are using a rental car. It’s worth mentioning that those thinking to rent a car and also those who want to help the abused and abandoned animals can rent a car in Miami through RentingCarz, who donate $1 dollar per car rented to The Humane Society of Miami through an online platform.
The Miami Zoo is located at Zoo Blvd 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, and is open to the public everyday from 9:30am to 5:30pm.