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Brevard Zoo Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by GraysonDP, 21 Dec 2016.

  1. GraysonDP

    GraysonDP Well-Known Member

    24 May 2015
    Washington DC
    Brevard Zoo Review

    Date of Visit: July 10, 2016

    The Brevard Zoo is a small zoo located in Melbourne, Florida and is only 22 years old. Much of the zoo feels community-made and exhibitry is relatively low budget at most points. Africa, Australia, South America and North America (specifically Florida) are showcased in medium sized loops but are usually not all that comprehensive of the region’s wildlife. However, there is a lot of charm to this zoo and Expedition Africa is quite an underrated gem. I went to the zoo a lot growing up so am quite familiar with it.


    Expedition Africa- While not the most comprehensive loop at the zoo, the one with the highest quality. The complex starts with an average island for siamang which predates the building of the complex. As you begin to walk into the complex, a tent provides viewing for a python exhibit. Further down is an impressive sandy exhibit for meerkats, which is loaded with reddish dirt, plenty of diggingin opportunities and a surprising amount of space. Then you come to a mock baobab tree which leads you on a boardwalk (most of the complex is on an island.) the first habitat found is a small but lush cheetah exhibit. For a cheetash exhibit, it is packed with vegetation and hiding opportunities but needs more space. A great habitat on the island houses klipsringers, dik-diks, guinea fowl, hyrax, ground hornbills, and cranes. This one has a lot of trees which provide shade and plenty of space.

    On the other side of the boardwalk a top-notch muddy habitat is home to white rhinos and the recently added Grevy’s zebras. For a small zoo, this is a damn good rhino exhibit since it is filled with opportunities for them to wallow and roll around in the mud. A few bits of vegetation dot the landscape but most of it is quite open. The centerpiece exhibit in the complex can be viewed from the same deck as the rhinos and zebras and it houses a huge herd of giraffes, impalas and crowned cranes. The expansive habitat is surrounded by water on many sides but that can’t be seen from most of the viewing deck since it is quite expansive. The level of immersion and naturalism is high and this is better than giraffe exhibits at several well-known zoos. Further out ring-tailed lemurs live on a lush island in the river that surrounds the area where the hoofstock live and across the river Dromedary camels, ostriches and scimitar horned oryxes live in a narrow grassy habitat. This African area is not that big but quite good and I strongly believe one of the best complex in any small zoo.

    Additionally, a unique feature to this exhibit is you can kayak through it and get great views of the giraffes, rhinos, zebras and others by paddling around them. I would highly recommend this since it adds a lot of adventure to the experience.

    Flamingo Lake- Flamingos live in a nice body of water found in the center of the zoo.


    La Selva- While Expedition Africa is better, I would say this loop has the most comprehensive collection for the geographic region it represents. It starts out strong with some of the most spacious exhibits for Baird’s tapirs and capybaras I have seen. Primates such as squirrel monkeys, cotton-top tamarins, golden lion tamarins and saki monkeys as well as sloths and tamanduas can be found in glorified cages that are nothing special but not bad but any means and fairly lush inside. Spider monkeys get a slightly larger “cage”. King vultures can be found in a rocky aviary that is quite good and on a site that once housed guanacos and rheas. Jaguars live in an average habitat that has recently been expanded and contains a decent amount of foliage and a pool. Giant anteaters live in a decent habitat nearby and a fair amount of African birds are present.

    North America- This exhibit starts by crossing over a bridge containing ponds for alligators and crocodiles. An average otter exhibit is the first one found and is slightly dated in terms of style but provides a good underwater viewing. Red wolves are found in a simple grassy yard nearby and bald eagles live on a nice perch. Bobcats, gray foxes and red foxes are found in substandard cages. Deer live in a shady habitat where you can actually feed them.

    Australasia- This area is currently under renovation but before had a slightly below average dusty kangaroo/wallaby paddock where the marsupials would often hide under ferns. Visayan warty pigs (formerly dingos) lived in a small yard close by and cassowaries had a nice grassy yard with a good amount of vegetation. An average aviary made up the rest of the complex.

    The Brevard Zoo has some excellent exhibits and many average to good ones. It is a small zoo, feels relatively homemade and simple at parts and lacks a significant amount of megafauna but is one of the best zoos of its size in the country. I would say it is definitely one of the 75 best zoos in the country and possibly 60.