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Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

3755 NW US Highway 17-92
Sanford, FL 32771
407-323-4450


News Release Contact: Shonna Green 407-323-4450, ext. 115

Central Florida Zoo . . . Your Connection to the Natural World!

Enter the enchanted, tropical world of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, a relaxing, entertaining, and educational experience for the entire family.

You'll discover a world of animals from around the world within this intimate park nestled in the heart of Florida.

Stroll along shaded, winding boardwalks and paths as you see lemurs play, search for the elusive cheetah, appreciate the beauty of bright-faced mandrills, and listen to the song of the kookaburra.

Or dare to meet some of the world's most venomous reptiles and non-venomous snakes, lizards, and frogs in the Reptile House.

Besides seeing over 400 animals (that doesn't even include the bugs in the Massey Services Insect Zoo), you can take to the sky and enjoy our aerial adventure course, ZOOm Air Adventure Park or bring your flip-flops and swimsuit to cool-off in the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground.

 See domestic animals in our Animal Adventure Children’s Zoo, or see the Southeast’s largest collection of venomous snakes and non-venomous reptiles in our Reptile House.

On weekends we also offer “Keeper Chats”.

You can also enjoy our Little Florida Coast Line Train and Animal Carousel at the entrance to the Zoo (for a nominal cost).

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens began operations in 1923 with a small collection of animals held by the Sanford Fire Department and was initially known as the Sanford Municipal Zoo.

In 1941, the Zoo was relocated to new facilities in downtown Sanford, on the site of the present city hall.

The new Zoo, then known as the Central Florida Zoological Park, opened its doors to the public at its present site on July 4, 1975.

This site consists of 116-acres, 21 of which are used for Zoo exhibits.

Over 400 animals, representing 135 species, make up the Zoo's diverse animal collection and it continues to grow as Seminole County's premier recreational and educational attraction.

Today, you'll see wild new animals like the rare Puerto Rican crested toads, endangered Amur leopards, venomous King Cobra, and colorful hyacinth macaws.

The recently transformed Butterfly Sensory Garden incorporates touch, look, listen, and smell stations to show how insect senses differ from those of humans in addition to the many plant varieties featured to attract and support all stages of the butterfly.

Coming soon is the opening of the Florida Wildflower Bog, which includes rare species of carnivorous plants.

Discovering animals is just the beginning.

Over 75,000 school children participate in formal education programs every year, fostering an appreciation for animals and the importance of biodiversity.

Programs like Two-to-the-Zoo for second graders and Curric-ZOO-lum for third grade students integrate mathematics, language arts, geography, and social science into a fun day of learning.

Create Your Own ZOOVenture programs are customized to meet the needs of teachers.

Whatever the program, they are all designed to meet Florida Sunshine State Standards requirements.

Conservation of animals is paramount; many endangered species entrusted to our care may soon be extinct in the wild.

Captive breeding programs may be their only hope for survival.

Species Survival Plans (SSP), coordinated through the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, are attempting to maintain genetic diversity to ensure healthy, vigorous animals to reproduce now and in the future.

The Central Florida Zoological Park participates in 12 SSPs, which include the cheetah, ruffed lemur, elephant, Aruba Island rattlesnake, black-footed cat, gibbon, mandrill, guenon, cotton-top tamarin, rock iguana, Puerto Rican crested toad, and clouded leopard.

If and when the world's habitats can be secured or restored, descendents of these animals may repopulate in their natural home ranges.

You can visit the Zoo 24-hours a day at www.centralfloridazoo.org or call 407-323-4450.

The Zoo is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at 3755 NW Highway 17-92 at I-4, exit 104, in Sanford, Florida.

Admission is $12.95 for adults, $8.95 for children 3-12, and $10.95 seniors.

Children 2 and under and Zoo members are admitted free.

Prices subject to change.

The Zoo is a private, non-profit organization supported primarily by admissions, concessions, contributions, and memberships and is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

 

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