I headed to The Palm Beach Zoo today with my friends Alicea and Jackie. Six kids and 3 moms, it was almost like mom camp! It has been raining for almost two weeks so, we took advantage of the rain free day. It was hot though! Like, humid, melting, stinky, sweaty, sticky hot! The majority of animals were lounging under trees or tucked away in their dens so we weren’t able to get too many close ups but we did learn some interesting random facts. So, I shall share……
The Palm Beach Zoo has a white alligator named Mardi, he comes from New Orleans and is named after the Mardi Gras festival. I’ve been to the zoo many times and I always thought he was an albino alligator but, turns out he has a rare genetic disorder called leucism. The difference is albinos lack only melanin and leucistic alligators lack all skin pigments. Also, albino alligators have red eyes and Mardi the luecistic alligator has blue eyes. Yep. You learn something new every day!!
This Aldabra Tortoise was munching grass while his buddies were tucked away in their shells. The Aldabra Tortoise is one of the largest tortoises in the world and can live up to 150 years!!
The Malayan Tiger Exhibit ALWAYS breaks my heart. The animals are amazing and it is always sad to read about the threat these animals (and others) face. One of the display signs said that there were estimated to be around 250 adults left!!
Shortly after this picture was taken, three staff vets came in to check on the Python. They were holding him and caressing his head…… uhm…yeah… ANYTHING that can gobble a deer I am NOT petting! haha
Pretty MaCaw and lunch break!
Spathoglottis -ground orchid. The zoo is covered in pretty plants and is actually quite shady! I have to admit, I learned about the Serval on Wild Kratts (my kids love that show) but, it was nice to see him in person! Servals have the longest legs and biggest ears of all the cats.
The Palm Beach Zoo is broken into four different sections, Florida, Tropics, Asia, and Islands. The Island section is one of my favorites because they have giant replicas of the Mayan Temples and Mayan sculptures. These stone balls are actually replicas of ones found in Costa Rica that are an archaeological mystery!
Sleeping Lemurs. Another interesting, thing I learned today is about the Capybara (not pictured). Jackie pointed this animal out to me. I’ve never heard of them before and they are actually quite cute, which makes the ending to this story kinda sad…wonk wonk! According to google, the capybara is the largest rodent in the world. A capybara is native to South America and looks like a giant guinea pig and when we saw him this afternoon he was chilling under a tree. Apparently, Capybaras are hunted for their meat and are quite tasty……at least that’s what someone told me today!
The final part of the day was spent running through the fountains.
SOME TIPS FOR VISITING THE ZOO.
- Pack a lunch! The zoo has a cafe/restaurant. But, unless you want to pay $4. for water it is much easier to grab something and bring it in your back pack.
- Bring water clothes for the kiddos. The zoo has designated changing areas so you can quickly change into swimmies! After walking through all the exhibits, the kids will appreciate the opportunity to run and scream while getting cooled off.
- Look into getting a membership. Alicea and I were able to get in free since I am a member! Plus you get free or discounted admission to over 140 zoos, aquariums, and museums nationwide at participating institutions.
- Think about going on a rainy day! I think the zoo gives a discount on days when it’s drizzling AND the animals usually come out when the day is cooler! There are over 500 animals at the zoo that you don’t want to miss!!