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  #1
Central Florida Zoo Review
Old 07-08-2012

I am going to use snowleopard's format for my review. And sorry for spelling errors in advance.

The Central Florida Zoo is a small zoo in Sanford, Florida that I was not expecting to be this good. Most of the exhibits here are small but they all have natural substrate.

The Best:
Cheetah Exhibit- This exhibit is large and grassy with two large hills with tunnels going through them. The back of the exhibit is all chain-link but the visitor area has a elevated board walk with the windows cut in the shape of a cheetah running and two larger square windows at the end.

Crocodilian Exhibits- These identical sized exhibits are for a very large alligator, a black caiman and a very large American crocodile. All of these exhibits looks very naturalistic as they are full of plants and have natural pools. These exhibits are viewed by a glass and wood fence which I was able to see above.

Outdoor Reptile Exhibits- These exhibits for Rock Iguanas and Crocodile Monitors are large and filled with plants with a ruined temple theme for their back and side walls. These exhibts can be seen through glass and are probally the largest and best exhibits I have seen for these species.

Bald Eagle Exhibit- This exhibit is larger than most that I have seen and is full of plants. It is open topped (because both birds were injured in the wild) with a large wooden wall with perching areas in the back and low walls on the sides and the front wall has low glass windows.

Dromedary Camel Exhibit: This was the former elephant exhibit that now has grass and trees growing in it. You can view it from a area that is higher in elevation than the closer part of the exhibit. I read on wikipedia that this is planned to be a Indian Rhinoceros exhibit but it will probally be too small to be a good one(I can not imagen elephants in this exhibit).

The Average:

Clouded Leopard Exhibit- This is a large black meal fenced and roofed exhibit has many lumber climbing opportunities and the ground is sand with a couple areas that have small bamboo plants growing.

Amur Leopard Exhibit- This exhibit has a mesh front and a rockwall back. It is too small and has almost no climbing opportunities (there is a long log that is slightly above the ground) but has a nice pool and waterfall and it is better than most Amur Leopard exhibits. There were two leopards in the exhibit but I do not know if the zoo is breeding.

Kangaroo and Emu Exhibit: This is a sandy area that is average size and has one large bush and a shade structure in it. You can view above the fence and through the fence (the fence is a cable one so it is easy to see through)

Caracal Exhibit: This exhibit has a black metal roof and sides with a mock rock wall in the back. The exhibit is average sized and has woodchips on the ground.

Black-footed Cat Exhibit- These two exhibits have black metal fence sides and roof. The are large for these small cats and have a sandy floor with some plants and a tipped over gardening pot to hide in. The cats were off exhibit to encourage breeding.

Bird exhibits- These exhibits are scattered throughout the zoo. They all are average sized but to small for flight and the all are enclosed by black metal fences but the have many perching opportunities and full of plans on the bottom (The Tawny Frog Mouth, Kookaburra and Toco Toucan exhibits have mini waterfalls)
Species- Toco Toucan, African Red-billed Hornbill, Black-throated Magpie-Jay, Blue-bellied Roller, Green-winged Macaw, King Vulture, Kookaburra, Panama Yellow-crowned Amazon, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Tawny Frogmouth, Wreathed Hornbill, Violaceous Turaco, cape thick-knee, Hyacinth Macaw and Silvery-cheeked Hornbill.

Siamang Exhibit- This is a tall exhibit that has some climbing opportunities and really tall bamboo. The exhibit is very hard to see into because of the fencing and the plants growing on the outside.

Cougar Exhibit- This exhibit has a mock rock back wall and has enough vertical space and climbing opportunities. The ground is far too small for the cougar to run.

The Worst-

Monkey, Porcupine and Lemur Exhibits- These exhibits are all far to small and have black metal fencing. All of the exhibits have woodchips as the flooring and are full of climbing opportunities (including cut up fire hoses so the monkeys can swing back and forth) and most of the monkeys were active. I missed the spider monkey exhibit but looking at the map it shows glass viewing and it seems bigger.
Species- Cotton-top Tamarin, black-handed spider monkey, black howler monkey, brown lemur, lesser spot-nosed guenon, prehensile-tailed porcupine and red ruffed lemur.

Viewing for th older exhibits- The older exhibits at the zoo (Monkey, Cats and birds) all are kind of hard to view and probally even harder to take pictures of the animals with out getting the fence in the pictures (I did not take any pictures).

Future- On September 1st the zoo is opening a river otter exhibit. I heard from a docent that the zoo already has the male but is getting a female to breed shortly after te exhibit opens. The zoo also had some drawings of a future tiger exhibit posted in the area the exhibit is going to be. I saw on a tv monitor that it had facts about Sumatran Tigers so that is what I suspect they will get.
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  #2
Old 07-08-2012

Thanks for the review. I passed this zoo once while in Florida and wondered what I was missing...you have solved that mystery.
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  #3
Old 07-08-2012

Thanks for the review, as this is one Florida establishment that I did not visit on my current road trip. How long did it take to tour?
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  #4
Old 07-08-2012

@snowleopard I was at the zoo for a little more than 2 hours but I go through most zoo pretty fast. Since you have kids you may stay longer because there is a mini train, splash park and butterfly garden.

I forgot a few things in my review so here they are:
The Best: African Porcupine Exhibit- This exhibit was sandy with one tree that had chainlink wrapped around it and a small cave like thing. There is a short mock rock glass wall in the front.
Herpetarium- This was one of the better reptile houses that I have been to as all the exhibits had natural substrate and had nice themeings (alot of Ruined temples) on the back walls. I do not remeber all the species but here are the ones I do remember and the one from there website: A species of coqui that I do not remeber, Amazonian palm viper, Aruba Island rattlesnake, black-breasted leaf turtle, black caiman, dusky pygmy rattlesnake, Eastern green mamba, Eastern coral snake, Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Eastern hognose, Egyptian cobra, eyelash viper, Florida cottonmouth, Florida pine snake, gila monster, green tree python, jungle carpet python, king cobra, lance-headed rattlesnake, long-nosed viper, Madagascar tree boa, Neuwied's lancehead snake, New Caledonian giant gecko, prehensile-tailed skink, red rat snake, red spitting cobra, scarlet kingsnake, Southern copperhead, tiger viper, timber rattlesnake, and West African mamba.

I am planning on writting a disney's animal kingdom review after I visit. That will be my second visit to DAK.
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  #5
Old 07-08-2012

I think that the Central Florida Zoo had Asian elephants until fairly recently also.
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  #6
Old 07-08-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidBrown View Post
I think that the Central Florida Zoo had Asian elephants until fairly recently also.
There were two female Asiatic elephants at the Central Florida Zoo on my only visit in 2009; one of the elephants 'Mary' was then 62 years old.
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  #7
Old 12-10-2012

New otter exhibit review, here: New River Otter Exhibit at Central FL Zoo! Designing Zoos

I think its quite nice.
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  #8
Old 12-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by designingzoos View Post
New otter exhibit review, here: New River Otter Exhibit at Central FL Zoo! Designing Zoos

I think its quite nice.
It does look very good. With a new tiger exhibit in the zoo's plans I think this could be a very good little zoo.
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  #9
Old 12-10-2012

Nice to see Otter exhibits in zoos getting better.

Once again, a nice step up from the Good Zoo. Our exhibit isn't bad, but it doesn't even compare to this one.
 


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