I've always struggled with my feelings towards zoos. It always felt like these animals were trapped for our entertainment but I realized this is not always the case. I recently educated myself more on what they do for the conservation of animals. It's not easy for some of these animals in the wild. They are losing their habitats and being killed by humans for a number of reasons. So many of these beautiful creatures we share this earth with go extinct because of us. Zoos help to conserve these animals and take them off of endangered species lists.
The Brevard Zoo supports international conservation programs. Some of their initiatives include scrub-jay translocation efforts, Sea Turtle Healing Centers, and Restore our Shore programs. They work towards making environmentally friendly changes that protect wildlife. It is apparent that everyone working here really cares for these animals. Every where we went there was a staff member eager to tell us about the animals that live there. It's one of the best experiences I've had at a zoo and taught me a lot about all of the different species that call Brevard Zoo their home.
This was the first thing we did when we got to the zoo. It was about 2:15 p.m. and they told us that giraffes are easiest to see between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm so we ran. We had the amazing opportunity to feed Johari, their newest giraffe. He was born on October 19th which happens to be my birthday! He was so sweet and loved sticking his 18-inch tongue out for the lettuce pieces we were giving him. The feeding platform is leveled with these tall animals so you get to be really close to them as they eat off of your hand. Each feeding is $2, a small price for such an unforgettable encounter.
Johari isn't the only giraffe living here, there are eight of them at the zoo. They are free to roam in their spacious habitat that resembles their home in the wild. Most of them are Masai giraffes. This species has declined by 50 percent in the past three decades due to habitat loss, human hunting, and droughts. The Brevard Zoo is a proud partner with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation which is an organization on the front line of giraffe research and protection. They work together to save the world's tallest animal from extinction.
Lorikeet & Cockatiel Feeding
This is my second favorite part of the zoo. You get to interact with all types of birds by feeding them. You are given two choices — on one side the birds are gentle and will just eat off of the stick you're giving to them and on the other they are more aggressive and will climb all over you. We decided to do both sides so that we can experience the difference. If you have a fear of birds I recommend doing the more tame side. I personally loved having the birds lands on my arms. It was fun getting to interact with them that way and watch them bicker over who gets to dig their beaks into the small nectar cups.
The nectar cups and seed sticks are available for $1 each outside the aviary. Once inside you will see rainbow lorikeet, roseate spoonbill, cockatiel, scarlet ibis, and kookaburra. There was also a duck who somehow snuck in and acted like he was one of the birds so that he can get in on the feast. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to feed him but some people snuck him a few bites anyway. It's such a cool experience to get to be so close to these flying creatures and watch them take food right from your hand. I highly recommend this as well if you come to the Brevard Zoo.
I haven't been to many zoos that have kangaroos here in Florida so to get to see them so close was exciting for us. They paid no mind to us and were just lounging around eating their corn leaves. The ones pictured above are the Red Kangaroos. They come from Australia and feed off of grass and leaves. They don't like to be touched so just admire them from afar. The fence is open and at any moment one of them could walk right through but they stayed away. It is the largest of the kangaroo species but they didn't seem intimidating. They looked peaceful sleeping together and sharing their dinner.
My favorite part about this zoo is that they created a home for the animals that resembles their natural habitat. The animals look happy and free to roam. Aside from exploring the animal habitats, there's zip-lining and a kayak ride through the zoo. Duncan and I opted for the package that included a giraffe feeding, bird feeding, and train ride for only $23.95. There are a lot of packages to choose from. Click here for the website to get more information. Let us know if you decide to go and tag us in your pictures #roamsick