Central Florida Zoo

June 18, 2007

Every summer we make the trek to Daytona Beach for a family reunion. This year, Jeff was not able to go with us, so the kids and I decided to leave early and stay with my grandparents for a few days before the reunion. We arrived on Wednesday and enjoyed relaxing for a day. By Friday, the kids were getting a little stir crazy, so I took them to the zoo. I didn’t leave them there, but I thought about it…LOL!

Going to this zoo was really neat because it is not like zoos at home. It is set in a wetland area of Central Florida, and they have maintained the wetlands by putting boardwalks throughout the property for visitors to walk on. Being able to see the natural habitat as you walk through the zoo was really neat.

All the monkeys aren’t in the zoo…

This guy is a Hyacinth Macaw, named Zach. He lost his mate recently and craves attention. If you show any interest in him at all, he will come right down to the bars and sing at you. I found him very amusing because he seemed to be posing for me. Each time I held the camera up for a picture he would hold still for me to photograph him, then he would move and pose again.

This Red Shouldered Hawk was with a handler who shared all kinds of information with us about the animals at the zoo. Unlike zoos near us, this zoo allows volunteers to handle the animals.

This croc is 15 feet long. We were very happy that he was in a well enclosed space. I would not want to run into him in the wild!

Yes, we have squirrels at home, but this little guy was so cute. He came down a tree, across the boardwalk, and then around us all the while acting as if we were part of his natural habitat. I thought for a minute that he was going to walk right up and onto me. I decided I didn’t want whatever was making him scratch so much, so we moved on.

Sarah and Erin were “shocked” to find a dinosaur in the wetlands! The background of this photo lets you see the natural surroundings. In some areas they even labeled some of the native species of plants. I was thankful that they had labeled the poison ivy since I don’t really know what it looks like.

This is the entrance to the sensory garden. If you have ever been to a butterfly museum in the North, you have a good idea of what this exhibit was like. Of course the temperature and humidity don’t go down when you leave though. There were some plants to look at, then some to touch. My favorite was the smelling garden. Finally, they had a small water feature with running water to listen to. Each area had different kinds of pretty flowers and plants. Here are pictures of a few.

Some of the animals in the zoo were just plain funny. I think Emu are pretty funny looking birds…

This tortoise was trying to cool off a little I guess. He was hiding under a bush, but I was able to find a place where I could look straight down on top of him.

The elephants looked particularly warm. This one kept laying its trunk on the log as if it was just too heavy to hold up.

Here are the very lazy kangaroos. No hopping while we were there.

Our final stops at the zoo, were the petting zoo and the gift shop. I have a particular fondness for goats. There is something about their personalities that I just can’t get enough of. Growing up a friend had a goat that would follow us around the farm like a little puppy. Ever since then, I have really liked goats. These goats were just like other goats I’ve met…very curious, and very pushy!

He was “head-butting” the fence.

If I participated in the Wordless Wednesdays, this would be my picture this week!

This guy was so curious, he had to get a closer look at a group of youngsters visiting the zoo.

For anyone who is familiar with the Veggie Tales Silly Songs with Larry…THIS is a Zebu!

I have seen many Llamas…at zoos, in fields, etc. I can’t say I have ever seen one quite this lazy though!

One comment

  1. A great zoo tour!
    Now, Miss Science Teacher… I have come up with a tremendous project for you AND your kids. Right up the homeschoolin’ alley. How about classifying plants? That way you can get pics (sharpen your photography skills) AND identify many plants!!!! Botany sure is a lot purdier than those silly ROCKS, after all!!!! Love the monkey pic. Hey, why AREN’T you doing WW’s anyway? What a great way to meet folks from all over the globe! Goats…you sure did NOT like the one at the Erie Zoo that ATE your tee shirt! That was quite a traumatic experience…glad to see you (TOTALLY) recovered! hehehe

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