Brevard Zoo facts for kids
Brevard Zoo Monument Sign at Entrance
|Date opened||March 26, 1994|
|Location||8225 North Wickham Road
Melbourne, Florida, U.S.
|Land area||50 acres (20.2 ha)|
|No. of animals||900|
|No. of species||195|
|Annual visitors||464,000 (2015)|
Brevard Zoo is a 75-acre nonprofit facility located in Melbourne, Florida, United States that is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 195 species from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The zoo features animal feedings, kayak tours, behind-the-scenes tours, and a train ride, along with the attraction Treetop Trek. The zoo has also featured a dinosaur exhibit several times in its past; its most recent exhibit "Dinosaurs are Back" ran from November 2017 to April 2018. Brevard Zoo is a nonprofit organization accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The zoo is divided into four loops: Expedition Africa, Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond, Wild Florida, and Rainforest Revealed. These loops are accessed off of the main loop that encircles the flamingo pond.
In 1986, the East Coast Zoological Society of Florida, Inc. (ECZS) formed. One of their goals was to build a zoo for Brevard County to "serve as a conversation hub where people could gather to learn about animals and nature. A place to escape from the manmade world and reconnect with the diversity of the life with which we share this planet.". In 1992, construction of the zoo began, with over 16,000 people coming together to help build the zoo. The Brevard Zoo claims to have had "The World's Largest Volunteer Community Build." The Brevard Zoo celebrated its grand opening on March 26, 1994.
A record 328,973 visitors attended in 2007. This included 175,046 paid daily guests. The others included reciprocal members of other zoos, and annual members. The zoo has an annual budget of $5 million most of which is earned and not raised through fundraising or grants.
In October 2012, one of the southern white rhinos from this zoo was transferred to Alabama's Birmingham Zoo to take part in a breeding program with its two female southern white rhinos.
In 2014, the black-throated monitor died. It was donated to the zoo when it was two years old in 2005.
In 2017, the zoo renovated their Australia and Asia exhibits and reopened them as "Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond."
In 2019, the zoo renovated their La Selva exhibits and reopened then as "Rainforest Revealed."
Wildlife Detective Training Academy
The Wildlife Detective Training Academy, or WDTA, is a building focused specifically towards younger children and features terrariums containing many of the zoo's reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, and a few mammals including chinchillas and flying squirrels. It also features interactive activities, such as a sand pit, where children can dig up bones from an animal "crime scene", and an animal hospital where children can learn about animal anatomy and veterinary science. The WDTA also features a new mystery every month in which children can investigate and find clues throughout the zoo. The building is located to the right of the main entrance in a separate building. After Paws On reopened in 2009, visitors now have to go through Paws On to enter the WDTA.
Expedition Africa offers kayaking on the grounds of the zoo. Trained staff lead the kayak trips and provide informative dialogue during a slow glide past African-themed exhibits. These exhibits include: giraffes, a blue crane, white rhinos, ostriches, impalas, scimitar-horned oryx, camels, cheetahs and zebras. After kayaking, visitors can climb up to an observation platform where they can feed the giraffes at eye-level. Siamang gibbons are located in-between the entrances to the Expedition Africa and Lands of Change loops. Cheetahs were added in February 2010. Meerkats were added in 2014. Two Grevy's zebra mares were added to the white rhino exhibit on President's Day 2015. The zoo also has a population of scimitar oryx, a species of oryx that has been extinct in the wild since 2000. On February 3, 2017, a new oryx calf was born at the zoo.
Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond
As its name implies, this loop features animals from Australia and Oceania. Visitors can find animals such as the red kangaroo, emu, and wallaby. Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond also hosts the free-flight aviary where visitors have the option of feeding rainbow lorikeets. The aviary is home to: galahs, lorikeets, cockatiels, kookaburras, and shelducks, among others. It is divided into two sections - the "lorikeet side" and the "cockatiel side." Right across from the aviary is a state of the art kangaroo walkabout where guests can get up close and personal with the zoo's kangaroos and emus. Inside the kangaroo walkabout, there are several solar panel "trees" that were donated to the zoo by Florida Power and Light. The solar panels do provide shade for the kangaroos, but their most important function is that they provide all the energy for the komodo dragon house, where two komodo dragons are located. Siamang gibbons are located in-between the entrances to the Africa and Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond.
River otters, alligators, crocodiles, and bobcats are just some of the animals on exhibit. This loop also contains a pack of the nearly extinct red wolf. Feeding is demonstrated in this loop. There is also an area to kayak into the wetlands in the back of the loop.
La Selva houses the zoo's jaguars, cotton-top tamarins, and golden-headed lion tamarins. This loop also feature's green iguanas, a Baird's tapir, a family of capybara, and a Hoffmann's two-toed sloth. In March 2007, a newly constructed vulture exhibit opened, which houses king vultures, turkey vultures, and black vultures. Vulture feedings and demonstrations are offered to visitors much the same way they are conducted within the Wild Florida loop. This loop is currently under construction and expected to reopen at the end of 2019 under the new name "Rainforest Revealed."
Paws On once provided a place for children to play in a playground, and a petting zoo for children to explore. The Contact Yard (petting zoo) had goats, chickens, a fallow deer, a miniature horse, and a miniature donkey. It was closed for renovations in 2007. It reopened in April 2009 and now contains an updated Contact Yard, a shallow swimming area, an aquarium mimicking the underwater environment of the nearby Indian River Lagoon with animals such as Tarpons, stingrays, and black drums; a touch tank with horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, and Florida crown conchs; a pizzeria, and various other attractions aimed towards children of all ages. Animals from the old Paws On that were kept include the Soil Cube and the Whale Slide. The Contact Yard now contains alpacas, pygmy goats, an African spurred tortoise, patygonian cavies, chickens and armadillos. Other animals include a great horned owl and Florida box turtles.
The zoo received 363,426 visitors in 2011, up 5% from the previous year. This represented the second highest number of visitors on record.
Brevard Zoo Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.