Naples Zoo is an institute that is run on a nonprofit basis and is ranked as one of the top in the country for the conservation of wildlife. The admission fees go towards maintaining the upkeep of the zoo and its animals whilst also going towards supporting animals in the wild. The zoo sets out to assist in the conservation of wildlife as well as teach people to value and respect nature.
The site of the zoo was first started as a garden project by Dr Henry Nehrling, a botanist who bought the land in order to protect his collection of rare plants in 1919. After his death, the site later became open for public visits as what we now know as the “Caribbean Gardens.” It wasn’t until 1969 that the park opened with the rare animal collection of Larry and Nancy Jane Tetzlaff. To this day, the Tetzlaff family still plays a big part in the upkeep of the zoo
The top attractions at the zoo include a visit to the Lions Lair, a large meshed-off enclosure which, as you may have guessed, is home to the zoo’s lions. If that doesn’t sound thrilling enough for you, why not check out Alligator Bay, Home to Alligator mississippiensis or the American alligator as its more commonly known. Here you can witness these giant alligators being hand-fed by the zookeepers.
A lot of visitors agree that their favourite part of the zoo is a lovely cruise around Lake Victoria, where visitors can expect to see several different types of endangered primate, such as the ring-tailed lemurs and buff-cheeked gibbons, to name a few. Each species of primate inhabits their very own Pirate Monkey Island, a must-see for any visitor, although watch out as some mischievous primates do tend to launch the occasional poo cannonball at passing boats. The Primate Expedition Cruise comes free with the price of admission and visitors can feel free to take the cruise as many times as they want.
Fancy becoming a zoo keeper? Well, Naples Zoo offers a wide range of internships, volunteer roles, and field trips for schools, and younger children aged 3 to 5 have the chance to join the Safari Squad. All of these opportunities give any up-and-coming zoologist a chance to study a variety of different live animals. You’ll have your work cut out for you, however, as the zoo has around 70 different species, each as weird and wonderful as the next.
Admission and Opening Hours
The site offers free parking to visitors as well as free entry to members and children aged 2 and under. Standard admission is $22.95 for adults and $14.95 for children, with concessions for seniors and military personnel. There is also a discount available for those who book online through the website.
The zoo is open to the public every day of the week from 9:00am to 5:00pm but there is no admittance after 4:00pm. It is close on public holidays such as Christmas day and Thanksgiving.
1590 Goodlette Road, Naples, Florida, FL 34102, Phone: 239-262-5490
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