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The Miami MetroZoo, now popularly known as the Zoo Miami, is the biggest and oldest zoo garden in all of Florida. It is also called as the Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens. It is considered as the only tropical zoo in the continent of the United States. People can find it on the old Richmond Naval Air Station, just southwest of Miami, in the southern part of the county. It is a home to more than 2,000 animals, and covers a land of 740 acres. It shows about 100 different exhibits.

How It All Began

The history of MetroZoo started in 1948. Back then, there were only 3 monkeys, a goat, and 2 black bears. These animals were bought for $270, just for a small road show near Miami. The 6 animals marked the beginning of the Crandon Park Zoo, southeast from the coast of downtown Miami. It was pretty small, and it only occupied 48 acres. Soon enough, other animals were added, including an elephant, some lions, and a rhinoceros. And by the year 1967, from the 6 animals, the zoo grew to a number of 1,200 animals. It was noted to be one of the top 25 zoos in the whole country.

Unfortunately, the 1965 Hurricane Betsy killed a lot of animals, around 250 of them. Construction of a new zoo began in 1975, and it later opened in 1980 as the Miami MetroZoo. It came with only 12 exhibits. And as years passed by, more and more exhibits opened. The land area was expanded.

In August of 1992, another hurricane named Andrew came and killed a great number of animals. The zoo reopened in December 1992. And by 2010, it was renamed to Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, or what is simply known today as Zoo Miami.

Miami MetroZoo Animals and Attractions

There are three main exhibits for the Zoo. First one is Asia, where people can find Asian river otters, Bengal tigers, Komodo dragons and the like. The African plains are another great destination, which shows the habitat of the giraffes, lions, zebras and more. And of course, the Australia area is one of the crowd’s favorite where koalas, kangaroos and wallabies can be seen.

FAQs and Fees

  • Location: 12400 SW 152nd Street, Miami, FL 33177
  • Hours of Operation: Opens daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm
  • Admission Fees: Adult – $15.95 + tax; Children – $11.95 + tax
  • Educational field trip rate: $7-7.75
  • Walk-a-thon: $9
  • Public tram: $4.95 + tax
  • Monorail: $3
  • Safari Cycle: $22 for 2 hours (small); $32 for 2 hours (large)
  • Stroller: $8 for single; $10 for double
  • Zookeeper Tour: $65.95 + tax
  • Zookeeper for a Day: $145 + tax
  • Phone No.: (305) 251-0400
  • Official Website: http://www.miamimetrozoo.com

Park Rules

And since there are a number of wild animals within Miami MetroZoo, it is essential that everyone understands the park rules. These rules need to be followed so that everyone will have a safe and fun environment.

  • The no. 1 rule is to enjoy your visit.
  • Be kind to animals.
  • Straws, balloons, skates and similar forms, radios, glass containers, fireworks, balls and Frisbees are not allowed inside the park.
  • No pets allowed.
  • Distribution of printed literature within the zoo is not permitted.
  • Feeding the animals is prohibited in all the areas, unless of course specifically stated like in the petting zoo and the pelican feeding area.
  • Food and drinks cannot be brought inside the zoo.
  • There are designated areas for smoking.
 
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