The world’s animals roam the lands a short jaunt away from Atlantic Beach homes. At the Jacksonville Zoo hundreds of critters from around the globe flourish and thrive. State of the art enclosures mimic natural habitats with the zoo maintaining a mission to “foster understanding of the interaction of people, wildlife and their environment.”

Education takes place all around the grounds. During Keeper Talks experts present an array of information about the exotic animals in their care such as elephants, rhinos and bats. Feeding demonstrations take place daily and include alligators, Komodo dragons and penguins. In Butterfly Hollow guests learn all about a variety of butterflies that flutter about the butterfly friendly garden.

Learn All about Exotic Animals when Living in Jacksonville

Guests can get closer to the animals through Animal Encounters. Pygmy goats love attention and visitors get to fawn all over them with brushing and cuddling. Get your hands wet in the touch pool and feed hungry stingrays. Lorikeets are also looking for a handout in the aviary. Nectar cups keep feathers ruffled and chirps in tune. Many stick their necks out when encountering giraffes. These gentle giants patiently wait for lofty leaves. There is a minimal fee for feed. Horticulture experts lead Saturday Garden Tours. Gardening topics are covered as groups meander about including pollination and water conservation.

Inspiring animal keepers can delve in deeper by becoming a Keeper for a Day. This unique program introduces participants from Atlantic Beach homes to a world behind the scenes. Individuals are kept on their toes remaining by keeper’s sides in the animal enclosures and other private areas of the zoo.

The Jacksonville Zoo is open everyday. Weekday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and an hour later on Saturday and Sunday. Memberships are great for residents living in Atlantic Beach who want to enjoy the park all year long. Unlimited admission, member only events and numerous discounts are just some of the perks.