The Jacksonville Zoo's Range of the Jaguar exhibit has won a national award twice. This South American exhibit features a variety of animals in addition to the jaguar. While exploring the meandering halls of the Lost Temple, an abandoned Mayan temple replica, visitors can happen upon pygmy marmosets, cotton-topped tamarins, and more The building also contains poison dart frogs and variety of snakes, such as the anaconda, Amazon tree boa constrictor, and bushmaster snakes. At the River's Edge exhibit area, guests can catch a glimpse of giant anteaters, capybaras, and howler monkeys. The Jacksonville Zoo is a great place to visit with the whole family.
An array of animals can also be found in the Emerald Forest Aviary. Visitors will find freshwater stingrays, macaws so close they could almost touch, and an Inca tern flying above their heads. A pudu, the smallest deer species, may even dart across their path. The aviary also is home to the arapaima, the largest freshwater fish, that grows up to 15 feet and can weigh nearly 400 pounds. Guests can also find entertainment watching the playful antics of the rare giant otters.
Plains of East Africa
The 1,400 feet long boardwalk of the Plains of East Africa exhibit area features a huge variety of animals in an expansive open environment. Visitors can start their journey around the boardwalk look with the warthog exhibit, and then continue onwards to see the eastern bongo, southern ground hornbills, and a wild breeding wood stork colony in the bongo exhibit. Across from the antelope exhibit area is a pair of saddle-billed storks, a rare stork species and the tallest of the African storks. Guests will find the cheetah exhibit and wattled cranes, the rarest of the African cranes, in the same area of the loop. Another two-and-a-half acre exhibit area gives ostrich, greater kudu, and white rhinoceros ample room to wander around the land. Strolling further down the boardwalk, visitors can spot the Grevy's zebra and okapi.
The Elephant Plaza provides guests with intimate views of the Jacksonville Zoo's elephants and their exhibit area, which includes a pool with 275,000 gallons of water. The zoo has 1 male and 3 female elephants. The plaza also features klipsprings, bats, vultures, and other animals. Within the same area is the African Reptile Building, home to several of the deadliest snakes on the planet. Guests have the chance to safely look at mambas, cobras, and vipers.
Mahali Pa Simiba is the one acre residence of the Jacksonville Zoo's lions. Visitors can view these lions from the main path's viewing area or from the overlook on the boardwalk. Prior to the lion exhibit area, colobus monkey entertain guests as they leap from one tree to another. Near the loop's end are the endangered Amur Leopards that can be seen from the main path or the loop's gazebo. Things to Do in Florida: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens - Photo: