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Media News


On Saturday, September 19th, “Pongo,” an 11 year old reticulated giraffe was immobilized for a series of procedures that were necessary to improve his quality of life which had experienced significant decline over the last several weeks.  Standing over 16 feet tall and weighing close to 2,000 pounds, he had been suffering from severe lameness that had significantly restricted his mobility and was making it difficult for him to go through day-to-day activities without debilitating pain despite receiving medications to help manage his discomfort.

It took a highly coordinated effort by a team of over two dozen individuals from several institutions, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, zookeepers, and farriers, to immobilize the giraffe and then to simultaneously perform a variety of tasks.  Those tasks included X-rays, hoof trimming, the shaping and attachment of custom rubber shoes, laser therapy, and the collection of blood and tissue samples.

Because of a giraffe’s extraordinary anatomy and size, the greatest challenge was safely immobilizing Pongo and keeping him under anesthesia while maintaining his vital signs at a healthy level.  Generally speaking, adult giraffes are considered to be one of the most challenging animals to anesthetize and death as a result of not being able to recover from anesthesia is a serious risk.  For this reason, the decision to immobilize Pongo was challenging but necessary because without being able to perform the procedures prescribed, euthanasia may have had to be considered. 

The procedure was managed by Zoo Miami veterinarians, Dr. Marisa Bezjian, Dr. Gaby Flacke, Dr. Gwen Myers and Dr. Rodney Schnellbacher. In addition, Dr. Beth Hammond and Dr. Alan Glassman from Lion Country Safari joined Lauren Hinson from the Brevard Zoo and Steve Foxworth, Andrea Widdifield and Maddie Munns from the Zoo Hoofstock Trim Program in Colorado, all of whom were supported by members of the Zoo Miami Animal Health and Animal Science teams.

X-rays revealed that Pongo did have a recent fracture in his left rear foot as well as an old fracture in his front right foot. He received laser therapy and was fitted for custom shoes that were successfully attached to his rear feet.  The shoes are designed to immobilize and support the recently fractured foot while helping to balance the opposing foot. 

Throughout the procedure and while under anesthesia, Pongo’s head was kept elevated on a special board while Animal Science staff constantly massaged his neck and body to stimulate blood flow.  Following the completion of the necessary tasks, everyone held their breath as Pongo was given the reversal drugs in hopes that he would be able to wake up and stand on his own.  Though he awakened and was able to hold his head up relatively quickly, it took him nearly 40 minutes following the reversal for him to finally stand which brought a huge sense of relief to the entire team!

Today, Pongo has made a full recovery from his anesthesia and has been reunited with the rest of the herd.  It will take several weeks for his fracture to heal.  He will be closely monitored over the next few months to ensure continued improvement and that he has a good level of comfort.
at Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Last week, “Koda,” an 8 year old male cheetah, received a thorough wellness exam as part of the Animal Health Department’s preventative medicine program.

After being immobilized in his holding area at the zoo’s amphitheater, the 110 pound cat was transported to the Animal Hospital where he underwent a series of procedures that included X-rays, an ultrasound, scoping and biopsy of the stomach, and a dental cleaning.  In addition, blood and urine samples were collected.  All of the initial results indicate that Koda is in excellent health and he has since been reunited with his brother, Diesel, at the amphitheater.

Because wild animals instinctively hide symptoms of being ill or injured so as not to expose themselves to predation or aggression, regular wellness exams play an important role in being able to diagnose any potential problems before they become too serious.  Being able to detect any problems at an early stage plays an important role in the success of any treatment which is why these types of exams are a fundamental part of the zoo’s overall preventative medicine program.

Cheetahs are considered to be Africa’s most endangered big cat with only about 7,000 remaining in the wild.  Their biggest threat is human conflict as they are often shot by farmers who consider them a threat to their livestock.  Unlike other big cats, cheetahs do not roar but do purr.  They are the world’s fastest land animal reaching speeds of close to 70 mph in less than 5 seconds.  Found in isolated pockets of Eastern and Southern Africa as well as a very small population in Asia, cheetahs are not considered a danger to humans and are often attacked and killed by other predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas. 

Zoo Miami has worked closely with cheetah conservation organizations in Africa and has provided tens of thousands of dollars in support of their efforts to protect this beautiful animal. 
at Thursday, September 17, 2020


September 14, 2020 (MIAMI, FL) – Zoo Miami will reopen to visitors on Tuesday, September 15th with limited capacity and safety requirements that follow the Miami-Dade County Executive Orders, “New Normal” guidelines and current CDC and State Health Department guidelines.    Zoo Miami last closed on July 4th after having reopened on June 1st to the general public.  

            Before heading out to the zoo visitors are to pre-purchase tickets online at and Zoo Miami members should make online reservations at to obtain free tickets.  A maximum of 10 tickets will be allowed per transaction.   There will be a daily limited capacity to ensure social distancing.  In addition, all guests ages 2 and older are required to wear a face covering at all times at Zoo Miami due to Emergency Order 20-20.  Zoo-themed masks are available for purchase online at and at the gift shop at various price points while supplies last. 

            Additional procedures include one-way only directional floor decals in the following exhibits: Critter Connection, Amazon and Beyond, and Florida: Mission Everglades to maintain social distancing guidelines.  To limit touch points, rentals of safari cycles, strollers, wheelchairs, and motorized scooters are available online at, with limited quantities available, and sanitized after every use.  To minimize contact between guests, the following experiences will remain closed:  animal feedings (camel, giraffe, parrot, and rhino), playgrounds, rides (carousel, Lostman’s River Boat Rides, paddle boats), water play areas and zookeeper talks and presentations.

            As always, outside food will not be permitted and food concessions will be open.  For added safety and convenience, now food from Oasis Grille can be ordered via mobile devices via an in park QR code and at  Guests can order in advance and pay by phone.  They can also set up a pick-up time at a designated area without having to wait in line.  Seating areas at food locations have been placed at a minimum of six feet apart to allow for social distancing.

            “We know how important Zoo Miami is to our community and we look forward to once again being able to provide a wonderful experience for the whole family, while keeping each other safe,” said Zoo Miami Director Carol Kruse.

            Zoo Miami staff will also be following special safety measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety.  Zoo Miami team members and volunteers will have their temperature checked daily before their work shift and will be required to wear face coverings.  Zoo Miami will maintain their high standards of cleanliness and add additional measures such as increasing the frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces throughout the day including restrooms.  Additional hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the zoo and spaced according to CDC guidelines.

             Guests and members that need to make changes to their tickets should contact or 305-251-0400, ext. 0, 24 hours before their scheduled visit.

              Though these are the guidelines established at the time of this writing, this is an unprecedented situation where changes and updates are certain to occur as time progresses so guests are strongly encouraged to visit our website at to be sure of the latest regulations and requirements.


As part of Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Zoo Miami has taken enhanced health and safety measures - for our Guests and Staff.  Guests must follow all posted instructions while visiting.   

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place.  COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions have an increased risk of severe illness and are especially vulnerable, but everyone is potentially at risk for contracting the disease.   

By visiting this public space you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. 

For more information please visit

at Monday, September 14, 2020

Zoo Miami Director Carol Kruse Retires, Leaving a Legacy of Hope

It is with bittersweet honor that we announce the retirement of Zoo Miami Director, Carol Kruse. Topping off a 30-year career working with Miami-Dade County, including serving as Assistant Zoo Miami Director from 2003 – 2011, Carol became Zoo Miami Director in May 2015. Five years later, we reflect on her time as Zoo Director, and how much we have grown since she first took on the leadership role.

The initial transition came at a very exciting time for Zoo Miami, as we had recently broken ground on the new Entry Plaza and Florida: Mission Everglades expansion. Carol stepped into her new role, overseeing the completion of those projects in 2016, and much more. With her experience as part of Zoo Miami’s team, her education in biology and business administration, and her genuine passion for wildlife and conservation, Carol’s transition into leadership was seamless.

“As my time at Zoo Miami comes to a close, there is so much to look back on with gratitude and pride,” says Carol. “I love this place, not just the physical beauty of the animals and gardens, but the positive energy and passion that our team (staff, volunteers and partners) and our guests bring to it every day.”

Five foundational pillars guided Carol’s strategic plan for Zoo Miami: Animal Well-Being, Conservation & Stewardship, Guest Experience, Financial Strength and Performance Excellence. During her five years leading Zoo Miami, we’ve celebrated many accomplishments, from history-making animal births, to the completion of new projects and expansions, to record-breaking attendance and successful events. We’ve also endured and overcome challenges, from the passing of beloved animals to the destruction of Hurricane Irma in 2017, the month-long closure that followed, and more. Guided by those five pillars, Zoo Miami has continued to navigate both achievements and setbacks, building on strong foundations to find growth and improvement.

With humility, she credits the team and community around her. Carol has said, since she first became Zoo Director, that her role was to find and retain the best talent for Zoo Miami’s team and to empower upcoming zoo leaders and conservation stewards.

“I love serving alongside everyone in fulfilling the mission of Zoo Miami and its important role in the community,” she says. “I know how lucky I am to have met and worked with so many amazing people, all focused on helping to make Zoo Miami the best it can be.”

As this chapter in Zoo Miami’s leadership history closes and Carol looks forward to the next adventure that life brings her, she leaves us with unshakeable confidence and hope. Five years ago, Carol stepped up into her new role, ready to pick up where her predecessor had left off as we all eagerly awaited the massive addition of Florida: Mission Everglades to our park. Now, Carol leaves behind a reminder that hope is fuel to action, which we need more than ever.

Zoo Miami’s new Conservation Action Center, now in the final stages of construction, embodies Carol’s legacy at Zoo Miami. The Center will stand where Dr. Wilde’s World previously was and will invite Zoo guests to learn more about conservation and wildlife in interactive, engaging ways. This project was built with the spirit of Zoo Miami’s core mission in mind.

“We all share a commitment to connecting people to wildlife so they will conserve it for generations to come,” says Carol. “And, if we continue to focus on our strengths: diversity, empathy and kindness; I have no doubt that Zoo Miami will continue to grow its conservation and stewardship role in the community. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.”

We wish Carol nothing but happiness and adventure in the next chapter of her life. Currently, Zoo Miami is working with a search firm to interview candidates for the next Zoo Miami Director. Of course, we know that this is not a goodbye to Carol, but simply the next phase of her relationship to Zoo Miami, as she will always be a part of our wild family.

at Friday, August 14, 2020


In accordance with the Mayor’s Executive Order and in aligning with other attraction type businesses in Miami-Dade County, Zoo Miami will be closed until further notice, beginning Saturday, July 4th.

Though it is disappointing to have to close on what happens to be the 40th Anniversary of Zoo Miami, the health and well-being of the community that we serve is the most important priority when it comes to any decisions regarding the operations of the zoo and the guests that we are privileged to welcome.  Celebrations can be cancelled, one’s health cannot.

Zoo Miami is committed to abiding by all of the recommendations of the CDC and Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” to help ensure that our community is doing everything possible to recover from this precedent-setting pandemic.  Please rest assured that the animals that call the zoo home will continue to be well cared for and that we look forward to the day when we can welcome guests back safely.  Until then, be safe and stay healthy! 

at Friday, July 3, 2020


A Komodo dragon underwent emergency surgery this week to remove a nearly one foot long rubber water bottle with a metal lid and carabiner.  These object was too large to be naturally passed by the animal and could not be extracted by endoscopy.  If not surgically removed, it could have caused a severe obstruction and eventually led to the animal’s death.

The surgery was performed on Wednesday morning and the entire procedure took nearly three hours. The animal is now recovering in a holding facility behind its habitat. Her name is “Estrella” and she hatched out at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2011.  She arrived at Zoo Miami in October of 2019, is approximately 6.5 feet long and weighs just over 40 pounds.  Komodo dragons are the largest lizards on earth and can reach a length of close to 10 feet while weighing close to 200 pounds.  They are considered vulnerable and are found on the islands of Komodo, Rintja, and Flores in Indonesia.

This morning, an American alligator was immobilized and brought to the Zoo Hospital after it was observed swallowing a large plastic water bottle that had fallen into its enclosure.  The 7 year old male is 8 ½ feet long and weighs 151 pounds.  It was hatched at the Everglades Alligator Farm and arrived at Zoo Miami in 2016.

After being X-rayed and then scoped to determine the exact location of the bottle, no evidence of the bottle could be found and it was decided that surgery was not necessary.  Apparently, the bottle must have been naturally passed by the alligator but since it has not been found in any other area of its habitat, there is a concern that it may have been consumed by another alligator so the staff is carefully observing the other 6 individuals for any signs of a digestive obstruction or other abnormalities.

Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents.  There have been several cases of different animals at Zoo Miami ingesting a wide variety of things ranging from sunglasses to cell phones which all present significant and possibly fatal threats to those animals.  It is imperative that zoo guests are extremely careful and have secured all of their personal belongings when observing animals in their habitats to help ensure that no objects fall into the exhibits and threaten the safety of those animals.

at Friday, July 3, 2020


Zoo Miami celebrates 40 years of conservation work and wildlife education from July 3-5th with 40% off admission

Miami, FL (July 2, 2020) – Zoo Miami celebrates its 40th birthday on July 4th with a celebration from July 3-5th where zoo guests will receive 40% off admission.  Each day zoo visitors will enjoy sweet giveaways and DJs spinning the latest hits.  A special timeline highlighting Zoo Miami’s greatest accomplishments over the last 40 years will be on display.  And for some additional fun, the zoo will have a prize patrol handing out surprise goodies.   The animals will also be celebrating with enrichment items that guests can watch them enjoy.  See schedule below:

July 3

10:15 am

Greater One Horned Rhino

1:30 pm

Gibbons and Siamangs

4 pm

Sumatran Tiger

July 4

10:15 am

Spider monkeys

2 pm

Asian elephants

4 pm

North American river otters

July 5

10:15 am

Tree kangaroos

1:30 pm

Saki monkeys

4 pm


As a bonus, guests will be able to catch Dinosaurs Live! presented by Metro by T-mobile.  The exhibit showcases more than 20 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and displays that look like the real animals that once existed! See these extinct creatures come back to life in this extraordinary outdoor Jurassic adventure that is included with Zoo admission and now extended through October 4th.

Facial coverings are now required in all public spaces inside and outdoors.  Advanced reservations are also required and tickets should be purchased online at  Regular Zoo admission is $22.95 per adult plus tax and $18.95 per child (ages 3-12) plus tax. For more information on Zoo Miami’s 40th birthday and any COVID-19 developments that may affect visitation, go to

About Zoo Miami

As one of the world’s greatest zoos and a part of Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world.  Among many sights, visitors can enjoy the Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, bald eagles, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives. 



at Thursday, July 2, 2020



Zoo Miami has had 4 employees test positive for COVID-19 within the last week.  Two of the employees worked in the Trades section, one in the Animal Science section and one in the Interpretive Programs section.  All individuals were immediately sent home when the results were confirmed and contact tracing was initiated to determine which, if any other employees needed to be quarantined in accordance with the guidelines established by the County’s New Normal rules and the CDC.

The employees who worked in the Trades section and in the Animal Science section did not work directly with the general public and we do not believe that there were any instances when they came in direct contact with guests.  The Interpretive Programs employee did work directly with the public and effective immediately, all interactive animal feeding experiences (giraffe feeding, camel feeding and parrot feeding) that had recently been opened are being suspended until further notice.  Though the employee worked with the public, all rules and guidelines established by the County’s New Normal rules and the CDC were followed.  A mask was always worn and social distancing was being observed.  In addition, hand sanitizing stations are at all Interpretive Programs locations and all guests are provided the sanitizing materials following their interactions and are required to wear a face covering.

Zoo Miami is committed to following all guidelines established by the County’s New Normal rules and the CDC.  All employees have their temperature checked prior to starting their work shift and all are required to wear masks.  Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the park, both in the public areas and behind-the-scenes for employees.  Social distancing is adhered to when possible and floor decals clearly designate the proper positioning when the public may be gathered in any given area (entry gate, concession stands, etc.).

Zoo Miami will continue to evaluate its procedures and will make whatever adjustments necessary to help ensure the safety of its guests, employees, volunteers and animals.

RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400, ext. 5084916 – Zoo Miami

at Monday, June 29, 2020

Bactrian Camel Birth at Zoo Miami



RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400 – Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is very happy to announce the birth of a Bactrian camel!  After a pregnancy of approximately 14 months, “Sunny,” a 3 year old female that arrived at Zoo Miami in November of 2017 from her birthplace at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, gave birth to what appears to be a healthy baby girl!  The newborn weighed just over 96 pounds!  The father is 9 year old “Bubba,” and he arrived from his birthplace at the Minnesota Zoo in 2012.  This is the first offspring for both parents.

Bactrian camels are critically endangered in the wild where it is believed that less than a thousand remain.  They are found in isolated pockets of the Gobi desert in Mongolia and China and are distinguished from the Dromedary camel by having two humps as opposed to one.  They can live up to 50 years and weigh over 1,500 pounds.

Contrary to popular belief, their humps are not full of water, but rather fat, which can enable them to go for long periods of time without any food.  They rarely sweat and are extremely adept at conserving water which enables them to get much of the water they need from the vegetation they eat.  When they do drink, they have the ability to drink up to 30 gallons at a time.  They are also well adapted for living in extreme temperatures, growing a very thick coat to withstand winter temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit which they will shed in the summer when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mom and baby will remain off exhibit until the staff feels that the two have bonded well and that the as yet unnamed newborn’s development is progressing well.

at Monday, June 15, 2020

Endangered Mongoose Lemur Born!

Photo of baby mongoose lemur on mother's back



RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director

305-251-0400, ext. 5084916 – Zoo Miami


Though Zoo Miami was closed for nearly 3 months due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the animals at the zoo went about their normal lives which included having babies!

Included among several new babies born during that time is that of an endangered Mongoose lemur that was born on May 6th.  Although all of the other babies that have been born at the zoo during the last several weeks are important, this particular birth was especially significant because it was the first birth of this species in the zoo’s history.

Both parents were born at the Lemur Conservation Foundation in Myakka City, Florida.  The 5 year old mother is named “Julieta” and the 12 year old father is named “Jaunito.”  Both arrived at Zoo Miami in January of 2019 and this is their first offspring.

Because of the sensitivity of the situation, zoo staff has not attempted to perform a neonatal exam on the infant to help ensure that both mother and baby are well bonded with minimal disturbance.  Because no exam has been done, the gender of the baby is still undetermined.

Like all other lemurs, Mongoose lemurs are found on the island of Madagascar.  However, it is the only species of lemur to also be found outside of Madagascar after being introduced to the Comoros Islands northwest of Madagascar.  They are arboreal and feed primarily on fruits and flowers and are considered to be important pollinators.  They will also occasionally take grubs and small vertebrates.  Found in small family groups that consist of an adult bonded pair and offspring, the adult female is usually the dominant individual.

Mother and baby are on exhibit but can present a challenge to see as she prefers to stay high in the trees, still being very protective of her baby which appears to be doing very well.

at Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Zoo Miami Zoocademy with Ron Magill Offers Free Online Education & Activities During Zoo Closure



Media Contact:
Cindy Castelblanco

May 6, 2020 (MIAMI, FL) –Since Zoo Miami’s closure due to the pandemic, Zoo Miami and Zoo Miami Foundation have been providing supporters with “Zoocademy with Ron Magill.”  The online program features fun, educational videos, lessons, and activities to do from home. New content is shared multiple times each week at no cost.

Currently, Zoocademy offers a variety of engaging content.  Videos feature wildlife expert Ron Magill alongside many amazing animals from Zoo Miami.  The animals in the videos include African elephants, giraffes, Burmese pythons, sloths, pelicans, Galapagos tortoises, king vultures, koalas, sloth bears, Eurasian eagle owls, lions, and black rhinos with more lessons in production.  Magill also covers Zoo Miami’s outstanding animal care and animal nutrition.  Zoo Miami Foundation’s education department has also included themed and downloadable lessons for children and families to use at home.  Special wildlife and conservation-minded arts and crafts projects such as building a bee condo are also provided to keep minds and hands working while learning and helping planet earth.  An amazing collaboration with the influential artist LEBO debuted this week and it provided a drawing lesson with amazing animal facts in a video segment titled “Learning and Drawing with LEBO and Ron.” Unique animal-inspired yoga lessons are also made available for wellness. 

“My hope is that during this challenging time when the zoo cannot accept guests, Zoocademy will help to maintain an engaging connection between people, especially children, and the amazing animals that call Zoo Miami home.  The videos are relatively short with the intention of providing some quick fun facts that will hopefully inspire the viewer to want to learn more and participate in the included lessons that provide wonderful opportunities to further appreciate the wonderful world of wildlife,” said Ron Magill, Zoo Miami Director of Communications.

Zoocademy can be accessed online at:

“Our goal is to provide free resources that enrich household lives and facilitate education for teachers and parents that were suddenly put into a homeschool environment.  Zoocademy offers all kinds of activities including some that use math to calculate the cost of feeding our zoo animals, outdoor scavenger hunts, and more to build an appreciation for nature and wildlife,” said Jessica Parks, Zoo Miami Foundation Director of Learning Experiences.

Zoocademy sponsors include Assurant, Bank of America, Carnival Foundation, Florida Blue, The Kirk Foundation, Main Street Dentistry and Orthodontics, PNC Bank, and West Kendall Baptist Hospital.

Since Zoo Miami’s closure, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have kindly asked how to support our work during these challenging times.  We are working harder than ever to continue to serve our community and the animals in our care and we are thankful for our supporters. We look forward to seeing guests back at the Zoo soon. We are all in this together and appreciate the support very much during these unprecedented times. If you would like to donate today, please visit

Please stay in touch with us for reopening information at



As a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, Zoo Miami Foundation is the non-profit 501(c)(3) that supports Zoo Miami through education, conservation and outreach programs; marketing and public relations; volunteer services and financial support for the construction of new exhibits.  The Foundation serves more than 20,000 member households through its zoo membership program.  For more information, visit or call (305) 255-5551.

Posted by Cindy Castelblanco at Wednesday, May 6, 2020

ZOO MIAMI Earns the Gold Standard of Accreditation by AZA

For Immediate Release

Rob Vernon, AZA,
Ron Magill, Zoo Communications Director,

Silver Spring, Maryland (April 16, 2020) – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has announced that ZOO MIAMI was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“ZOO MIAMI is among the outstanding aquariums and zoos that have met or exceeded our rigorous accreditation standards,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “The people who live in South Florida can be assured ZOO MIAMI is providing the highest-quality animal care and welfare and is contributing to initiatives that save animals from extinction.”

To be accredited, ZOO MIAMI underwent a thorough review to make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards in categories which include animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association. 

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the facility’s operation, including animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and more. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied.  Any facility that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

ZOO MIAMI has been an accredited AZA member since 1984. 

“We are extremely proud of our AZA accreditation.  It is an affirmation that Zoo Miami is achieving the highest standards in animal care and welfare while working to conserve our world’s wild animals and wild places and engaging the community through meaningful guest experiences.  Accreditation is not easy to achieve, and it is a testament to the dedication of our staff, volunteers and partners.” said Carol Kruse, Zoo Director.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 11 other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

About Zoo Miami

As one of the world’s greatest zoos and a part of Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world. For additional information about Zoo Miami, including special events and activities for visitors and its ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation and science education, visit our website

at Thursday, April 16, 2020

Zoo Miami Is Closed Until Further Notice

While Miami-Dade County is under a state of emergency as it deals with the public health threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and in keeping with the executive order from Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez to close all non-essential recreational facilities in an effort to ensure the safety of our community by minimizing opportunities for public interaction and direct contact, Zoo Miami is now closed until further notice.

Essential staff will continue to report to work to ensure that all of the animals are receiving the same quality care they have always received and that care will continue without interruption.

Unused Zoo Miami admission tickets that have already been purchased online or otherwise are valid one year from the date of purchase printed on the ticket.  For those who would like a refund, please email

Zoo Miami members will have their memberships adjusted so that no visit is lost from their 365 days of membership. 

Again, the above changes are implemented in an abundance of caution as the health and safety of residents and visitors are of the utmost importance. The operational changes and time periods described herein are subject to change. As such, you are encouraged to monitor the County’s website,

Zoo Miami is an entity of Miami-Dade County Parks and is strictly following all procedures and protocols as outlined through the Mayor’s office, which is providing real-time updates through its regular communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Florida Department of Health. Please view information at


at Thursday, March 19, 2020

Meerkats Born at Zoo Miami

For the first time in its history, meerkats have been born and are being successfully raised at Zoo Miami!  On January 18th, 2020, “Yam Yam,” an 8 year old female who came to Zoo Miami from Busch Gardens in February of 2012, gave birth to two pups in a secluded area of the meerkat habitat.  Yam Yam shares the habitat with three unrelated brothers named “Gizmo,” “Joe,” and “Diego” that are 6 years old and arrived from the Brevard Zoo in June of 2018.  Any one of these brothers could be the father and only DNA tests would be able to verify which one.

Since their birth, Yam Yam and the brothers have worked cooperatively to care for the newborns which are born helpless and blind.  Zoo staff had a hands-off approach to allow the group to properly bond with the infants and created barriers in front of the public side of the exhibit to minimize any disturbances that may cause excess stress on the new family and lead to the abandonment of the babies.

Last week, the pups opened their eyes and have recently been observed exploring around the den, gradually moving further and further out into the habitat.  Interested parties can go to Zoo Miami’s website,, and click onto the meerkat webcam to try to catch a glimpse of the babies as they continue to expand their exploration within the habitat.

Meerkats are a common omnivore from the mongoose family that are found in desert and other arid environments of Southern Africa.  Made famous by the Disney character, “Timon,” from The Lion King, meerkats have become an extremely popular animal, especially with children.  Known for their habit of having a sentinel standing on its hind legs looking out for potential danger from predators such as snakes, birds of prey and jackals, these very gregarious animals feed on a wide variety of invertebrates, as well as lizards, small mammals, eggs and fruits.  Groups can number as many as 50 individuals and are known as a mob.  They are exceptional excavators and will construct a series of tunnels to escape predators as well as the heat of the desert sun.

at Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Zoo Miami Opens Dinosaurs LIVE! Presented By Metro By T-Mobile From January 18 – June 14, 2020

Dinosaurs LIVE! presented by Metro T-mobile is coming to Zoo Miami on January 18, 2020, with more than 20 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and displays that look like the real animals that once existed! Prepare to see these extinct creatures come back to life in an extraordinary outdoor Jurassic adventure. Open daily during normal zoo operating hours only through June 14, 2020, this exhibit will take zoo guests back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

            Among the dinosaurs on exhibit, guests will be thrilled to discover favorites like a fully grown “spitting” Dilophosaurus, fast-moving carnivores named after its two crests, and of course, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, whose name means “Tyrant Lizard King” due to its size and power.  The baby T-Rex looks as vicious as the grown one. Other dinosaurs may be easily recognized by visitors, including the Quetzalcoatlus, one of the largest flying creatures to ever exist, the Triceratops family complete with a nest of hatchlings and the Apatosaurus is reminiscent of the famed Brontosaurus (he’s a close relative)!  The Stegosaurus meaning “roofed lizard” is another well-known animal with broad bony plates from its neck down to its back, with the tip of its tail bearing long spikes for battle.  Our feathered Utahraptor will make you believe you are seeing the real thing with his 9 inch curved lethal claw!  One of our smallest dinos is a group of Compsognathus with the body size of a chicken.

            Guests may be amazed to find dinosaurs they never knew about, including some with fascinating features, like the Pachycephalosaurus – whose name means “thick-headed lizard”. Its thick skull was surrounded by blunt bony knobs and spikes, making it stand out from the other dinosaurs. The Suchomimus is identified by its resemblance to the crocodile and you’ll find him lurking in the water. The Edmontonia stands out as an armored herbivore with its bulky, broad and tank-like figure.  The Megalosaurus, resembling the T-rex, was also a large carnivore, weighing as much as a Black rhino. 

            “We believe our guests’ fascination with dinosaurs will bring them to the zoo.  Many people know more about dinosaurs than animals that are still present today.  We invite visitors to feed their dinosaur fixation by visiting Dinosaurs Live! at Zoo Miami,” said Zoo Miami Director Carol Kruse. 

This exhibit is nothing short of amazing! Guests will be surrounded by several other dinosaurs, along the zoo walkways, including a couple of Coelophysis, very fast runners with curved necks that resemble long-legged birds, a Deinonychus slashing through its fallen prey and another watching on as guests pass by.  On display will also be an impressively horned Diabloceratops, and an interactive photo opportunity with a Pachyrhinosaurus.

            There will be so much to see, learn and experience at this one-of-a-kind exhibit by Billings Productions, a leading provider of animatronic dinosaurs.  You may have to come more than once to take it all in! Dinosaurs LIVE! is included with Zoo admission and is open from daily from January 18 to June 14, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photos of these dinosaurs can be downloaded at:

Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 street; Miami, FL 33177. General zoo admission is: $22.95/adult, plus tax and $18.95/child (3-12) plus tax. Children under two, zoo members, and parking are free. Zoo Miami’s hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ticket booths close at 4 p.m. For more information please visit or call (305) 251-0400.

at Friday, January 17, 2020


FIU, Zoo Miami and the Zoo Miami Foundation are teaming up to expand conservation research opportunities for undergraduate college students.

The joint effort has been awarded a three-year, $378,000 Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site grant from the National Science Foundation. It will provide fully funded opportunities for FIU students and others from colleges throughout the United States to gain experience conducting independent research in conservation biology at Zoo Miami. Students will be mentored by conservation biologists and conservation education researchers at FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences & Education and the Zoo’s conservation scientists and wildlife veterinarians.

Ten students will be accepted into the program each year during the summers of 2020, 2021 and 2022. The program organizers hope to recruit students from minority groups underrepresented in science careers and students from universities with limited exposure to research.

The program is being modeled on an existing internship collaboration between FIU and Zoo Miami, said Elizabeth Anderson, project co-lead and an FIU assistant professor of Earth and Environment.

“Our program is different from a traditional REU program because students will have the opportunity to design and answer research questions in a new setting at Zoo Miami,” Anderson said. “Miami is an ideal lab for learning about conservation science, while surrounded by iconic locations like the Everglades and coastal reefs.”

The National Science Foundation funds dozens of REU sites across the US and internationally, but most are at research universities, field stations, or museums. As the only zoo-based REU program within the U.S., this grant could enhance the national capacity to train a new generation of conservation biologists for research careers working in and alongside zoos.

“Science guides the way we save wildlife – whether in human care or in the natural environment,” said Steven Whitfield, an FIU alumnus and conservation and research specialist at Zoo Miami who is a project co-lead. “This grant will allow the Zoo and FIU to train research students in a unique and fascinating environment for conservation biology, while presenting them to the real-world opportunities and challenges of doing conservation research at a zoo.”

Zoo Miami is the first zoo in the U.S. to receive such an award and only the second institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to host an REU Site.

Steven Whitfield, Ph.D., Zoo Conservation and Research Specialist
305-251-0400, ext. 5084957 – Zoo Miami

at Thursday, August 22, 2019

Endangered Tree Kangaroo Showing Off New Baby for Mother's Day Weekend!

An endangered Matchie’s tree kangaroo joey from New Guinea has begun to peek out of its mother’s pouch at Zoo Miami.  It is still basically confined to the pouch where it will continue to develop for the next several months before venturing away from its mother.  It will not be totally weaned until it is around a year old.

Though it is just now exposing itself on a regular basis, this joey was actually born October 14th, 2018.  As with most marsupials, tree kangaroos are born in an almost embryonic state after a pregnancy of about 44 days. The newborn is only the size of a jelly bean and slowly crawls into the mother’s pouch where it locks onto a nipple and then the majority of development takes place.  It takes several months before the joey actually sticks its head out of the pouch and is visible.

The mother, named Zayna, is 9 ½ years old and was born at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas and the almost 11 year old father, named Banyon, was born at the Bronx Zoo in New York.  The sex of the offspring has not been determined but it will eventually become part of an international captive breeding program.  Zoo Miami has been a long time contributor to Matchie’s tree kangaroo conservation efforts in the wilds of New Guinea.  Though this is Zayna’s third baby, it is the ninth one born at Zoo Miami.

Matchie’s tree kangaroos live at high elevations in the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea where they spend most of their time up in trees feeding on a variety of leaves, ferns, moss, and bark.  They are believed to be solitary animals and the only strong social bond formed is between a mother and her offspring.  In celebration of Mother’s Day, this new mother and her joey will be on exhibit all weekend at the Posner Australia Exhibit for visitors to see!
at Friday, May 10, 2019

Historic Rhino Birth at Zoo Miami

On April 23, 2019, after an over 15 month pregnancy, “Akuti,” a 7 year old Greater One Horned Indian Rhinoceros, gave birth at approximately 12:30 am!  This is only the second successful birth of this very rare species in the zoo’s history.  However, what makes this birth truly historic is that it is the first successful birth of this species anywhere in recorded history to be the result of induced ovulation and artificial insemination!!

This is the first baby for Akuti, which means “Princess” in Hindi.  She was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in January of 2012 and arrived at Zoo Miami in February of 2016.  The father is 18 year old “Suru,” which means “A Start” in Bengali.  He was also born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and arrived at Zoo Miami in October of 2003.

After several attempts at natural breeding with no success, a special team from the South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation (SEZARC), along with Dr. Monica Stoops from the Cincinnati Zoo, met at Zoo Miami to artificially collect semen from Suru on January 8, 2018, and then artificially inseminated Akuti on January 9, 2018.  SEZARC is dedicated to increasing the populations of rare and endangered species through reproductive science and has worked with several zoos and aquariums around the country.

Once we were able to confirm that Akuti had indeed conceived, she was trained to receive regular ultrasound examinations which enabled zoo staff to closely monitor the development of the fetus.  Because we knew the exact date of conception, we were able to accurately estimate the birthdate and for the last several days, Akuti has been under 24 hour observation awaiting this very exciting event.     

Initial indications are that the newborn is healthy and doing well but more detailed information will not become available until the veterinary team is able to do a neonatal exam.  This will be performed when the staff feels that it can safely separate the infant from its very protective mother for the few minutes that the exam will take.  It is critical that the mother and newborn are able to establish a bond which can sometimes be a challenge for first time mothers.  Because of the extreme sensitivity of the situation, there will be no media access until zoo management has determined that everything is stable and the new mother and baby have been able to adjust.  If everything goes well, it will probably be a few weeks until mom and baby are on public display.

at Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Zoo Miami Chimpanzees Receive Exams

Zoo Miami's four chimpanzees were immobilized this week to undergo a variety of examinations that included dental exams performed by human dentists, Dr. Adrian Correa and Dr. Richard Souviron from Dental Leaders, echocardiograms performed by veterinary cardiologist Dr. Dewey Carpenter, bronchoscopies performed by human pulmonologist Dr. Greg Holt from the University of Miami, anesthesia supervised by Dr. Sathya Chinnadurai, veterinary anesthesiologist from the Brookfield Zoo, and uterine exams performed by human OBGYN, Dr. Karen Salazar Valdes. Zoo Miami Associate veterinarians, Dr. Jimmy Johnson, Dr. Marisa Bezjian, and Dr. Gabrielle Flacke, oversaw all procedures.
The good news is that the results of the exams done on Niger, the 28 year old alpha male, did not indicate abnormalities that raised any major concerns and he has recovered well and was already back on exhibit this morning.  The two females, 53 year old Bubbles and 50 year old Samantha, received OB exams and fortunately a growth that was found in the uterus of Samantha was benign. However, both females, most likely due to their advanced age, experienced some difficulty recovering from their anesthesia.  Of the two, Samantha gave us the biggest scare when she would not wake up for several hours.  However, after a variety of treatments were administered to help her awaken, Samantha opened her eyes in the evening and slowly, but surely began to show movement.  This afternoon, she is back on her feet and both her and Bubbles appear to be well on their way to making a full recovery!
The news in not so good for Hondo.  The cardiac exams confirmed that he is suffering from advanced heart disease that has resulted in a variety of life-threatening issues and has most probably reduced his life expectancy to less than a year.  In addition, he was found to have a large blood clot that has the potential of breaking off with what most likely would be fatal results.
The veterinary team is working closely with the Great Ape Heart Project based in Atlanta to provide the best possible care and treatments for Hondo who will be on a regimen of medications in an effort to give him the best quality of life possible for the time he has left.  Unfortunately, just like in human beings, heart disease is not uncommon an adult male great apes.
at Friday, April 19, 2019


MIAMI, Fla. (January 25, 2019) – Starting Saturday, AAA – The Auto Club Group will sponsor Zoo Miami’s Safari Cycle program. For a cool way to see Zoo Miami, guests can rent a Safari Cycle for the whole family and pedal their way around. Small cycles can accommodate up to three adults and two small children, while the large cycles can accommodate up to six adults and two small children.  

“We are very excited to work with Zoo Miami and help promote their Safari Cycle program,” said Tony Alberton, Florida Field Vice President for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “This is a natural connection for us since our AAA Membership now covers bicycles.”

“Zoo Miami Foundation is proud to partner with a quality brand like AAA that has been a staple of our community for more than a century. We thank them for their support and look forward to a great year of collaboration,” said William (Bill) Moore, Zoo Miami Foundation President & CEO.

AAA / Zoo Miami Safari Cycle Partnership Launch Event – Saturday, January 26th (10 A.M. to 5 P.M.):

  • LocationZoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177 - Florida: Mission Everglades entrance.
  • Press EventAt 10:30 A.M., representatives from AAA and Zoo Miami will give brief statements and pose for photos.
  • Free Rides – The first 50 Safari Cycle rides will be free, compliments of AAA.
  • Giveaways – The first 500 Zoo Miami guests will receive a special gift.
  • Enter to Win – Zoo Miami guests can enter to win an Echo Dot Family Edition at the AAA tent.

Zoo Miami is the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida and the only sub-tropical zoo in the continental United States. It is comprised of 740 acres, 346 of which are developed and traversed by over three miles of walkways.

To provide an additional level of safety for bicyclists, AAA – The Auto Club Group offers bicycle roadside service with all membership levels, allowing riders who encounter a mechanical problem on the roadway to call AAA for assistance. For more information on AAA Bicycle Service visit

About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.6 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

at Friday, January 25, 2019

Zoo Miami Koala Receives Exam

“Milo,” Zoo Miami’s 7 year old male Queensland Koala, went through a series of procedures on Wednesday as part of an overall health exam.  The exam was performed by Zoo Miami Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Gaby Flacke, assisted by Associate Veterinarians, Dr. Marisa Bezjian and Dr. Jimmy Johnson.  In addition to being part of a Zoo Miami’s general preventative health program, this exam was also being done in preparation for the introduction of Milo to “Rinny,” a 3 year old female Koala that arrived from the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina on September 21st.

As part of the general wellness exam, Milo had his blood and urine collected, X-Rays taken, and his eyes examined.  Milo also received a comprehensive CT scan that was performed by Dr. Xavier Meaux of Mobile Pet Imaging.  CT scans provide enhanced 3D images that reveal details not as easily seen on normal X-Rays.

Initial results of the procedures performed indicate that Milo is in excellent health and he can look forward to being introduced to Rinny in the next several weeks!  The hope is that they will get along and that Zoo Miami may be celebrating the birth of a koala in the not too distant future! 

Koalas are arguably the most iconic of Australia’s wildlife.  Found in the eucalyptus forests of Eastern Australia, these arboreal animals can consume close to 2 pounds of eucalyptus leaves a day.  They are very selective in eating only the most nutritious and tastiest leaves of certain trees.  When not eating, they can sleep for up to 18 hours a day!

Though they are often referred to as koala “bears,” they are actually marsupials and not related to bears at all!  A newborn koala is called a “joey” and it is born blind, hairless and the approximate size of a bumblebee.  As soon as it is born, it instinctively climbs into its mother’s pouch where it continues to develop for approximately 6 months before emerging as an adorable furry miniature version of its parents.

Koalas are threatened by development, drought, and fires which have resulted in the loss of close to 80% of their natural habitat.  In addition, they are the victims of dog attacks and being hit by cars when they come to the ground to get to other trees.

at Friday, January 18, 2019

Finding Families for Children in Foster Care Makes Fun Day at Zoo Miami Serious Business

MIAMI, FL – January 18, 2019 – A day at Zoo Miami usually means some serious fun, but for The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery team charged with creating digital photo and video libraries that encourage the adoption of harder-to-place children, it’s serious business. Video crews, professional photographers, hair and makeup artists and dozens of other volunteers will converge at the zoo today with a single goal in mind: to help 21 children find their forever families.

“The ideal goal for kids in foster care is a sustainably happy and healthy family reunification,” says James Haj, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust. “But when families simply cannot be kept together and parental rights are terminated, we step up to help those children find stable and loving homes.”

There are currently more than 100 children in Miami-Dade’s foster care system who are ready to be adopted, dozens of whom are featured in The Children’s Trust web-based Heart Gallery; their heartwarming stories, images and videos can be viewed at

“These are amazing kids who have been dealt unbelievable challenges” says Haj. “The Miami Heart Gallery initiative increases their chances of being adopted, while giving them a special day where they get to be the center of attention and take part in a fantastic experience.”

The children at today’s photo shoot will have the opportunity to explore what is the only subtropical zoo in the continental U.S.; perhaps feed a giraffe or tortoise; and meet Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill, who will be taking some of the day’s portraits.

“It is a privilege and a pleasure for Zoo Miami to provide these wonderful children with the opportunity to connect with wildlife while hopefully being able to show people how deserving they are of a forever family,” says Ron Magill, Zoo Miami Communications Director and Goodwill Ambassador. “Contributing to the future of a child is the greatest investment anyone can make.”

Approximately half of the children featured in The Children's Trust Miami Heart Gallery since its debut in 2009 have either been adopted or are in the process of being adopted. Aside from the lifelong joy and enrichment that adoption brings, families who adopt enjoy a multitude of supportive benefits, including college tuition waivers to any state university through Florida’s Department of Children and Families. Miami Heart Gallery is a partnership between The Children's Trust and Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, the local lead agency for child welfare in Miami and the Keys. Anyone interested in learning more about adopting a foster child should call Our Kids at 305.455.6241 or email Flora Beal at

Photo shoots will begin at Zoo Miami at 9 a.m. and run through 1:30 p.m., with a break from noon – 12:45 p.m. The zoo is located at 12400 SW 152nd Street, Miami, FL 33177. To coordinate passenger car and satellite van parking, please contact Lisa Mozloom at 305.528.5341 or Media invited as early as 9 a.m.

Media Contacts:

Lisa Mozloom                                                                         Sandra Camacho

The M Network                                                                      The Children’s Trust

305.571.1455 Office                                                              Media Liaison/Community Outreach

305.528.5341 Mobile                                                             305.571.5700 Office                                      305.742.5123 Mobile



About The Children’s Trust

The Children's Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. For more information, please visit

About Our Kids

Our Kids creates safe havens for children and families through foster care and adoptions. For more information, please visit

About Zoo Miami

As one of the world’s greatest zoos, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world. Among many sights, visitors can enjoy the NEW Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, bald eagles, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives. Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more! For more information, please visit or call 305.251.0400.

at Friday, January 18, 2019

Working to Save America's Rarest Bat - the Florida Bonneted Bat

MIAMI, FL (December 6, 2018) – Bat Conservation International (BCI) and Zoo Miami announced today a new aggressive multi-faceted campaign to save the Florida bonneted bat, America’s rarest bat. Funding for the conservation effort is made possible by NextEra Energy, the parent company of Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). The funds will enable BCI and Zoo Miami to develop a regional bat lab focused on understanding the species’ needs in urban environments and providing on-the-ground conservation projects to ensure long-term sustainable population growth for this rare bat species.

Native to South Florida, the bat’s small population size and shrinking habitat have prompted multiple organizations to come together for a conservation plan of action. The bat is the largest species found in Florida and derives its name from large ears that extend out over its head similar to a bonnet.

As part of the conservation efforts of the species, BCI is working closely with Zoo Miami scientists to construct specially designed bat houses. These custom-made bat boxes were strategically placed throughout the South Florida region as part of a longer-term goal of creating safe homes for the Florida bonneted bats. The boxes are affixed to 35-foot hurricane-resistant poles donated by FPL. They were placed at various preserves, Miami-Dade County parks, and a golf course were Florida bonneted bats are known to forage at night.

Additional conservation efforts include monitoring the health of the bats, community outreach and awareness, discovering what insects are important prey, and using citizen-scientist data to better understand the bat’s range in the urban landscape.

“Protecting endangered species with limited ranges such as the Florida bonneted bat are vitally important efforts in preserving the natural diversity of our world,” said Mylea Bayless, BCI’s Senior Director, Network and Partnerships. “This project would not happen without the support of NextEra and expertise from Zoo Miami. We’re confident we’re taking steps to improve the survival and habitat for one of the rarest bats in America.”

“We are fortunate to have organizations like BCI and Zoo Miami working to protect and preserve extraordinary species, like the bonneted bat,” said Mike Sole, Vice President of Environmental Services at NextEra Energy. “We are pleased to be able to partner with these organizations to develop ways to better protect this unique species of bat.”

“This special bat has managed to persist while its ecosystem rapidly changed in the last century. This new partnership is going to allow us to discover what it needs in South Florida to not only survive but hopefully thrive into the next century,” said Dr. Frank Ridgley of Zoo Miami’s Conservation and Research Department.


About Bat Conservation International

The mission of Bat Conservation International is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet. For more information visit

Media Contact: Javier Folgar
Bat Conservation International
Tel: 512.327.9721 ext. 410


About NextEra Energy

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) is a leading clean energy company with consolidated revenues of approximately $17.2 billion, operates approximately 46,790 megawatts of net generating capacity and employs approximately 14,000 people in 33 states and Canada as of year-end 2017. Headquartered in Juno Beach, Florida, NextEra Energy's principal subsidiaries are Florida Power & Light Company, which serves approximately 5 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the United States, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. Through its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy generates clean, emissions-free electricity from eight commercial nuclear power units in Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin. A Fortune 200 company and included in the S&P 100 index, NextEra Energy has been recognized often by third parties for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry on Fortune's 2018 list of "World's Most Admired Companies" and ranked among the top 25 on Fortune's 2018 list of companies that "Change the World." For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites:

Media Contact: Devaney Iglesias
Florida Power & Light
Tel: 561-694-4586


About Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami’s mission is to encourage an appreciation for the world's wildlife and to help conserve it for future generations.

Media Contact: Ron Magill
Zoo Goodwill Ambassador/Communications Director
12400 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL  33177
305-251-0400, ext. 5084916

at Wednesday, December 5, 2018

‘National Geographic Photo Ark’ Exhibition Opens on November 16th at Zoo Miami

Direct: 305-328-8811

MIAMI, FL (November 13, 2018)—The National Geographic Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries—inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations. The National Geographic Photo Ark is a compelling and visually powerful project that aims to photograph species before it is too late. In addition to creating an archival record for generations to come, this project is a hopeful platform for conservation and shines a light on individuals and organizations working to preserve species around the world.

National Geographic is showcasing this important project through multiple platforms, including a traveling National Geographic exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” that opens at Zoo Miami on November 16, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore, the exhibition will be on display until October 9, 2019. This exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Sartore estimates the completed National Geographic Photo Ark will include portraits of over 12,000 species representing several animal classes, including birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. In what will be the largest single archive of studio-quality photographs of biodiversity ever, the National Geographic Photo Ark continues to move toward its goal of documenting these 12,000 species in captivity, thanks in part to Sartore’s enduring relationships with many of the world’s zoos and aquariums. These iconic portraits have captured the imagination of people around the world and have even been projected on the Empire State Building and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The “National Geographic Photo Ark” exhibition will highlight more than 50 of Sartore's most compelling images and provide visitors with the unique opportunity to come face to face with animals from the National Geographic Photo Ark. Sartore has worked in more than 250 zoos, aquariums and animal rescue centers around the world. Many of the images featured were taken at Zoo Miami including the images of the cheetah and tree kangaroo. Visitors will learn about the project, its mission and its conservation efforts by Zoo Miami which include The Harpy Eagle Project, the Florida Panther Recovery Program and the Cheetah Ambassador Program, among many others.

“The National Geographic Photo Ark has already inspired millions around the world with the message that it is not too late to save some of the world’s most endangered species,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of Exhibitions, National Geographic Society. “Joel Sartore has demonstrated what one man can do using the power of photography—and now National Geographic wants to inspire people all over the country to contribute to this global challenge.”

“Joel Sartore is certainly one of the premiere photographers of our generation.  As a National Geographic Fellow, he has helped to connect countless people around the world to the wonders of wildlife and the need to protect it.  It is an honor and a privilege to host more than 50 examples of his precedent-setting Photo Ark project in hopes of inspiring our guests to help ensure that these amazing animals are around for future generations,” said Ron Magill, Zoo Miami Goodwill Ambassador/Director of Communications.

National Geographic Photo Ark exhibitions have appeared at venues around the world, including Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the Dallas Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo. Additional venues may be announced soon. The exhibitions accompany a new National Geographic book, Birds of the Photo Ark (National Geographic Books; on sale March 6; $30.00. National Geographic Photo Ark fans are also invited to join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether and learn more about how to get involved with the project at

For Photo Ark images, please visit:

PERMITTED PHOTO USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic Photo Ark. Copying, distribution, archiving, sublicensing, sale, or resale of the image is prohibited.

REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: Any and all image uses must (1) bear the copyright notice: © Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark, Ark (2) be accompanied by a caption which makes reference to National Geographic Photo Ark. (4) include a prominent link to

Photo Ark is included with Zoo admission of $22.95 per adult and $18.95 per child (ages 3-12).  Zoo members and children (age 2 or less) get free admission.  Save time, buy your tickets online at

About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. We support educators to ensure that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. We aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit

About Zoo Miami

As one of the world’s greatest zoos and part of the Miami-Dade County Parks Recreation and Open Spaces (PROS) Department, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world.  Among other sights, visitors can enjoy the Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, bald eagles, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives.  Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more!

at Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Experience Zoo Lights Miami from November 23 - December 29 on Friday & Saturday Nights


Miami, FL (November 8, 2018) – Zoo Lights Miami, Zoo Miami’s winter holiday celebration event, returns this year to celebrate its 10th anniversary with now one million bright, animal shaped lights and dazzling tree lights. Zoo Lights will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays from November 23 through December 29.

Beginning on November 23 and for every night of Zoo Lights, guests can enjoy animal encounters, free Snowman’s River boat rides, interactive musical performances by Steve Gryb, hot chocolate and cookies*, photos with Santa*, and holiday shopping at the Zoo gift shop*. We will also have tons of complimentary entertainment, including themed evenings with contests to win prizes, a tree lighting ceremony on November 23rd, holiday movies, holiday karaoke, storytelling, light shows, music and dance performances, arts and crafts, and more. See the schedule of events and entertainment below:




November 23 & 24

PJ & Onesie Nights

Guests are encouraged to dress in holiday pajamas/snuggies/onesies.

  • Tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 23 at 7:30 pm
  • Performances by Hip Hop Kidz

November 30 & December 1

Galactic Nights

Guests are encouraged to dress like their favorite Star Wars, Star Trek, or Guardians of the Galaxy characters.

  • Performances by Miami Art Studio on 11/30 and the Florida Youth Orchestra Flute Choir on 12/1

December 7 & 8

Ugly Sweater Nights 

Guests are encouraged to dress in ugly sweaters.


  • Performances by Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Art in Motion Dance Academy, Be Dance Studio, and HEARTbeats A Capella on 12/7 and Greater Miami Youth Symphony on the 12/8

December 14 & 15

Superhero Nights

Guests are encourage to dress as a their favorite Superhero.

  • Performances by MC Dance Miami  on 12/14 and South Florida Music  on 12/15.

December 21 – 22

Santa & Elf Look-A-Like nights

Guests are encouraged to dress as Santa, Mrs. Claus or his elves.

  • Performances by Braddock Gems

December 28 & 29

Holiday Bling Out Nights

Guests are encourage to “bling out” or “light up” their strollers or themselves with string lights, glow in the dark items and other festive décor.

  • Performances by Hypnotic Dance on 12/28 and Florida Youth Orchestra Aurora String Ensemble on 12/29

Admission to Zoo Lights is on sale now for $15.95 per person plus tax. Pre-sale tickets are available for only $10 and packages also have discounted prices until November 12th.  Guests are encouraged to acquire their tickets and packages at early as some nights sell out.  The General Zoo Lights Package is $17.95 plus tax and includes Zoo Lights admission, Snowman’s River boat rides, hot chocolate and cookies. The Zoo Lights Photo Package is $37.95 plus tax and includes Zoo Lights admission, Snowman’s River boat rides, hot chocolate, cookies and three 5x7 print and digital photos with Santa and an ornament.  For more information on Zoo Lights, admission and packages, visit

*available for purchase

About Zoo Miami

As one of the world’s greatest zoos and a part of Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world.  Among many sights, visitors can enjoy the Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, bald eagles, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives.  Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more!

at Thursday, November 8, 2018


Zoo Miami is making a commitment to ensure all visitors, even those with sensory needs or on the autism spectrum, have an amazing experience. As part of this commitment, the Zoo recently earned the Certified Autism Center designation, which is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations who have completed a training and review process with the goal to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs.

“Zoo Miami aims to provide each guest with an enjoyable visit and is proud to be designated as a certified autism center. Our staff has undergone training to be able to better serve guests with autism and other special needs.,” said Carol Kruse, Zoo Miami Director.

Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find new experiences and traveling to new destinations a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children with special needs have limited travel options and created programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry.

“We believe it’s important to ensure all guests can experience the world around them in a safe way,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Our Certified Autism Center designation is awarded to premier organizations who have completed rigorous training and meet the highest industry standards, and we’re so excited to work with Zoo Miami on this initiative.”  With this certification, Zoo Miami is working on creating sensory bags for special needs guests that contain noise-cancelling headphones and fidget toys or stress balls before the end of the year.  Quiet places will also be identified within the zoo by the first quarter of 2019.  In preparation for Autism Awareness Month in April, Zoo Miami will also provide Zoo Sensory Guides to ensure the best possible experience for guests with disabilities.

Rather than relying on the growing number of organizations promoting “autism-friendly” options that can vary widely, more parents are now seeking out destinations that have completed research-based training and professional review. IBCCES also created, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center requirements.



Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders -
IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders. As part of our commitment to sharing the latest innovations and research, IBCCEs also hosts the International Symposium on Cognitive Research and Disorders to create a forum for collaboration among industry stakeholders.

About Zoo Miami

With nearly 1 million annual visitors, Zoo Miami is part of the Miami-Dade County Parks Recreation and Open Spaces (PROS) Department and home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world.  Among many sights, visitors can enjoy the Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, bald eagles, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives.  Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more!

 Zoo Miami is open every day of the year from 10:00AM – 5:00PM with the last ticket being sold at 4:00PM.  Admission is $22.95 plus tax per adult and $18.95 plus tax per child ages 3-12.  Children under three are free.  Zoo memberships offer free access year round.  For tickets, membership and information, visit or call (305) 251-0400.

 About Zoo Miami Foundation

As a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, Zoo Miami Foundation is the non-profit 501(c)(3) that supports Zoo Miami through education, conservation and outreach programs; marketing and public relations; volunteer services and financial support for the construction of new exhibits.  The Foundation serves more than 20,000 member households through its zoo membership program.  For more information, visit or call (305) 255-5551.



Meredith Tekin


Cindy Castelblanco
Zoo Miami Foundation
305.255.5551 ext. 111


Somali Wild Ass Birth


RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400, ext. 5084916 – Zoo Miami


Zoo Miami and a 10 year old male Somali Wild Ass named “Hakim” celebrated Father’s Day with the birth of his latest offspring, a critically endangered Somali Wild Ass that was born early yesterday morning.  The foal, the 8th born at Zoo Miami, and its mother, a 13 year old named “Stella” are now on exhibit and the baby seems to be adapting and integrating well into the small herd.  A neonatal exam done this morning determined that the foal is a male and appears healthy, weighing 46 pounds.

Somali Wild Asses are the world’s most critically endangered asses with less than 1,000 believed to still exist in the wild.  It is the last remaining ancestor of the modern donkey.  They are the smallest of the wild equids and are found in the rocky deserts in very isolated areas of Eastern Africa.  Adults weigh approximately 500 pounds and mares give birth to usually a single foal after a gestation of 11 months.  They are characterized by their smooth gray coat and their striped legs which are indicative of their close relation to zebras.

Zoo Miami began exhibiting the highly endangered Somali Wild Ass in 2011.  All the adult animals are on loan from the San Diego Wild Animal Park and arrived here as part of a carefully planned captive breeding program designed to maintain healthy populations of these extremely rare animals for generations to come

at Monday, June 18, 2018

ZMF Charity Navigator 2017

Media Contact:
Cindy Castelblanco
Office: 305-255-5551




Miami, FL (January 9, 2018) – Zoo Miami Foundation (ZMF) has received the coveted 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest and most utilized independent charity evaluator in America. This achievement is the highest possible rating with Charity Navigator, and is a testament to ZMF’s strong financial health, and commitment to accountability and transparency.

ZMF is now part of the “Perfect 100” list according to Charity Navigator.  The exceptional charities on this list execute their missions in a fiscally responsible way while adhering to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities. ZMF and each charity on this list have earned perfect scores for its financial Health and its accountability and transparency. Those two scores then translate into a perfect 100-point overall score. Less than one percent of the thousands of charities rated by Charity Navigator have earned perfect scores.

This award recognizes ZMF for exceeding industry standards, and sets the organization apart from most other charities in America, as only 18% of the evaluated charities have been awarded at least three consecutive 4-star ratings. ZMF is proud to have demonstrated the kind of trustworthiness, dedication and efficiency that is worthy of this recognition.

Charity Navigator is the leading charity evaluator in America, evaluating ten times more charities than their closest competitors. They aim to keep donors equipped with the essential information needed to make informed decisions about their charitable decisions.

“We are very proud to have received the highest rating possible for three years now.  It is a result of our hard work and dedication to being a trustworthy and genuine cause,” said ZMF President & CEO Bill Moore.

About Zoo Miami Foundation
Zoo Miami Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that supports Zoo Miami through education, conservation and outreach programs; marketing and public relations; volunteer services and financial support for the construction of new exhibits.  For more information, call (305) 255-5551 or visit

About Zoo Miami

As one of the world’s greatest zoos, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world.  Visitors can now enjoy the NEW Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, a bald eagle, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives.  Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more!

at Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Gifts for the Animals 2017






Direct: 305-328-8811

Cell: 305-793-9813




Miami, FL (December 1, 2017) – Not only do humans enjoy receiving and opening presents during the holidays, Zoo Miami’s animal residents do too!  Included with admission, Holiday Gifts for the Animals takes place on select days in December, including Christmas Day.  Visitors will be entertained watching the animals joyfully open holiday gifts prepared by zookeepers.  Below please find the holiday gifts schedule. 






10:30 a.m.     

Tree kangaroos open holiday presents


2:00 p.m.        

Asian small-clawed otters receive pine cones with treats





11:30 a.m.     

Giraffes open holiday gifts


3:00 p.m.        

Harpy Eagles receive treat boxes wrapped in holiday paper





10:30 a.m.      

Jaguars receive holiday-themed ice treats


2:00 p.m.        

Warty pigs get treat boxes wrapped in holiday paper





11:00 a.m.      

Meerkats get an Australian pine tree and small treat boxes wrapped in holiday paper


2:00 p.m.        

Flooded Forest Animals receive Australian pine holiday tree with edible ornaments





10:30 a.m.        

Sloth bears receive holiday gift boxes filled with treats


1:30 p.m.

Galapagos tortoises get juicy watermelon wreaths decorated with fruit





11:30 a.m.    

Asian elephants get edible ornaments


1:30 p.m.

Wacky Barn goats and friends get gifts





11:30 a.m.      

Lions get holiday-themed ice treats


1:30 p.m.        

New Guinea singing dogs get treat boxes wrapped in holiday paper





11:00 a.m.      

Giant river otters get holiday-themed ice treats


1:30 p.m.        

Wacky Barn goats and friends get gifts





12:30 p.m.    

Cassowary gets paper mache ornaments stuffed with treats


3:00 p.m.   

Rheas get paper mache ornaments filled with grapes





11:30 a.m.      

Orangutan and white-cheeked gibbons receive holiday presents


2:15 p.m.

African elephants get a giant Australian pine tree with elephant-sized edible ornaments





11:30 a.m.      

Giraffes open holiday gifts


1:30 p.m.     

Pygmy hippos get holiday-themed ice treats





11:30 a.m.      

Asian elephants get edible ornaments


1:30 p.m.      

Tapirs get holiday trees with fruit ornaments





10:30 a.m.    

Sloth bears get holiday gift boxes filled with treats


1:45 p.m.

Chimpanzees open their holiday presents





10:30 a.m.    

Tigers get ice treats


2:15 p.m.

African elephants get giant holiday trees decorated with their favorite treats





11:30 a.m.      

Orangutan and white-cheeked gibbons receive holiday presents


1:30 p.m.  

Flooded Forest Aviary animals receive paper mache ornaments stuffed with treats



About Zoo Miami

As one of the world’s greatest zoos, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world.  Visitors can now enjoy the NEW Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, a bald eagle, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives.  Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more!


Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 street; Miami, FL 33177. Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; last ticket sold at 4 p.m.  Regular adult admission is $22.95 (plus tax) and regular child admission is $18.95 (plus tax).  Parking is free. For more information, please visit or call (305) 251-0400.

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Friday, December 1, 2017

Zoo Lights 2017






Direct: 305-328-8811

Cell: 305-793-9813


Join us on select nights in December for a holiday event featuring more than half a million lights

Miami, FL (November 8, 2017) – Zoo Lights, Zoo Miami’s winter holiday celebration event, is brighter than ever, with dazzling animal shaped and tree light displays. Zoo Lights will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in December, plus the week of December 26 – 30.

Guests can enjoy tons of complimentary entertainment, including themed nights with contests, holiday movies, light shows, music and dance performances, animal encounters, and Snowman’s River boat rides.  Hot chocolate and cookies*, photos with Santa and our Zoo Squad*, and holiday shopping at the Zoo gift shop*will also be available.  A tree lighting ceremony on December 1st with Ron Magill kicks off the festivities.  See the schedule of events and entertainment below:




December 1 & 2

PJ & Snuggie Nights with Contest

Guests are encouraged to dress in holiday pajamas/snuggies for a chance to win prizes.

  • Tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1 with Ron Magill at 7:30 pm
  • Performance by Crescendo Music School
  • Strolling Yuletide Carolers
  • Holiday Movies
  • Light Show
  • Holiday Karaoke
  • Photos with Santa
  • Snowman’s Boat Ride

December 8 & 9

Ugly Sweater Nights with Contest 

Guests are encouraged to dress in ugly sweaters for a chance to win prizes.

  • Dance performance by Alouettes Dance Academy
  • Holiday Movies
  • Light Show
  • Holiday Karaoke
  • Photos with Santa
  • Snowman’s Boat Ride

December 15 & 16

Galactic Nights with Contest

Guests are encouraged to dress like their favorite Star Wars, Star Trek, or Guardians of the galaxy characters for a chance to win prizes.


  • Appearance by The 501st Legion, a fan-based organization dedicated to wearing accurate replicas of Imperial Stormtrooper armor, Sith LordsClone Troopers, and other villains from the Star Wars universe.
  • Performance by the Suzuki Association of South Florida (12/15 only)
  • Performance by South Florida Music (12/16 only)
  • Holiday Movies
  • Light Show
  • Holiday Karaoke
  • Photos with Santa
  • Snowman’s Boat Ride

December 22 & 23

Santa & Elf Look-a-Like Nights with Contest

Guests are encouraged to dress as Santa or his elves for a chance to win prizes.

  • Performance by Performing Arts Center (12/22 only)
  • Performance by South Florida Music (12/23 only)
  • Holiday Movies
  • Light Show
  • Holiday Karaoke
  • Photos with Santa
  • Snowman’s Boat Ride

December 26 – 30

Frozen & Winter Wonderland Nights with Contest  Guests are encourage to dress as a Frozen movie character or in winter wonderland attire for a chance to win prizes.

  • Interactive musical performances by Steve Gryb
  • Holiday Movies
  • Light Show
  • Holiday Karaoke
  • Photos with Zoo Squad
  • Snowman’s Boat Ride


Admission to Zoo Lights is $9.95 per person plus tax.  The Zoo Miami Member rate is $7.95 plus tax.  Guests can also purchase special packages to save money. The General Zoo Lights Package is $12.95 plus tax and includes Zoo Lights admission, hot chocolate and two cookies. The Zoo Lights Picture Package is $27.95 plus tax and includes Zoo Lights admission, hot chocolate, two cookies and three 5x7 photos with Santa or the Zoo Squad (on days available). Corporate Holiday party packages are also available by calling Group Sales at 305-251-0400. For more information on Zoo Lights, admission packages and corporate packages, visit

*available for purchase

About Zoo Miami
As one of the world’s greatest zoos, Zoo Miami is home to more than 3,000 animals from all over the world.  Visitors can now enjoy the NEW Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, a bald eagle, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives.  Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more!

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Wednesday, November 8, 2017

$10 Days 2017

Media Contact:
Cindy Castelblanco






Adults and kids can enjoy discounted admission to Zoo Miami through Fourth of July Weekend.


MIAMI, FL – (June 15, 2017) – Join Zoo Miami for affordable summer fun during Fourth of July weekend. Zoo Miami is offering $10 admission from July 1 – 4, 2017, which is more than 50% off regular admission. Guests can also add $10 to their purchase and return on July 15, 2017 to enjoy the first Zoo Miami Live! Concert, featuring The Long Run, an Eagles tribute band.


“We are happy to provide affordable family fun for the community,” said Carol Kruse, Zoo Miami Director. “It’s a great way to reach out to new visitors and celebrate Independence Day, and the Zoo’s 37th anniversary.”


Guests visiting on these discounted days can enjoy all Zoo Miami has to offer, including the new Florida: Mission Everglades expansion that features a new boat ride, an otter slide and a croc tunnel that are definitely must-do’s! From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the weekend, there will be great giveaways and treats for the whole family. On all four days, radio stations will be providing fun music and giveaways, and guests can enjoy Pepsi brand samples and chair massages from New Leaf Chiropractor. On Saturday and Sunday only, South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center will be giving away pairs of tickets to upcoming shows, plus there will be more giveaways from Pet Supermarket, and craft beers for purchase at the SSA Beer Garden. The Florida Panthers will also be present on Sunday only with giveaways for guests.


Zoo Miami Live!, a concert to benefit conservation, will be held on July 15, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Regular tickets purchased without a $10 day ticket are currently on sale and also include admission to Zoo Miami on July 15, plus a bonus admission ticket that can be used within a year. Prices are as follows: adults (age 13 and older): $30 plus tax per nonmember; $25 plus tax per member. Children (ages 3-12): $25 plus tax per nonmember; $20 plus tax per member.


For the full Zoo Miami experience during $10 Days Weekend, guests should plan to explore our Playworld Playground for some water play fun, plus our Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station and revamped Children’s Zoo now called Critter Connection.  


The special $10 admission prices are available at Zoo Miami only from July 1 – 4 and cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Save time, buy your $10 tickets online at today.


 Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 street; Miami, FL 33177. General Zoo Admission is: $21.95 per Adult and $17.95 per Child (3-12), plus tax.  Children under two, Zoo members and parking are free. Zoo Miami’s hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; ticket booths close at 4 pm.  For more information please visit or call (305) 251-0400.

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Thursday, June 15, 2017

Zoo Doo Makes Its Debut!

May 16, 2017


For further information contact:
Ron Magill, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400, ext. 5084916 – Zoo Miami


On Wednesday, May 17th, Zoo Miami will help celebrate Endangered Species Week by officially launching its “Zoo Doo” program to the public!

In an ongoing effort to reduce, recycle, and reuse, Zoo Miami has been collecting the manure (poop!) of a variety of endangered herbivores (rhinos, elephants, and other hoof stock) and combining it with grinded trees, plants, and landscape debris from the zoo to create compost.  Through this green initiative, Zoo Miami is reducing its landfill footprint while also saving on the purchase of soil.

The process of creating Zoo Doo is made possible by a specialized composter called an Enviro-Drum.  Zoo Miami is one of only two zoos in the country utilizing this special piece of equipment. The Enviro-Drum can hold 60 cubic yards of compostable material.  Approximately 2,000 pounds of herbivore manure is collected daily from six elephants, five rhinos, and three Bantengs (Asian endangered bovines) which provides the “brown” waste that is then combined with landscaping “green” waste.  The Enviro-Drum then mixes, aerates and heats the materials to over 131 degrees to break down the material and kill weed seeds.  The resulting product is dark compost that has very little resemblance to the original materials.   It is then used around the zoo for our botanical collection by the zoo’s horticulture department!

Now, Zoo Miami is happy to provide the most exotic compost in South Florida to the general public!  Beginning Wednesday, the public can purchase Zoo Doo in two different quantities.  A five pound “collector’s bucket” costs $12.95 plus tax and for the serious landscaper, a full cubic yard, can be purchased for $30.00 plus tax.  Zoo Doo can be purchased online ( or at the front ticket booths.  The five pound collector buckets can be picked up daily from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM but the cubic yards can only be picked up Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM.

The media is invited to the official kick-off event tomorrow, May 17th, at 10:00AM at Zoo Miami.  Please go to Gate #2 where you will be met and escorted to the Enviro-Drum and our mountain of “black gold!”  Each attendee will be provided with their own sample of Zoo Doo also known as recycled “feces from endangered species!”  Ron Magill will give a special demonstration on how it is created (the compost, not the feces!) so come with a sense of humor!

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Brew at the Zoo 2017

Media Contact:

Cindy Castelblanco

Office: 305-255-5551





Guests will enjoy food, live music, over 100 local, international and craft beers and free entry to Zoo Miami


Miami, FL (May 3, 2017) – Miami’s largest beer festival will return to Zoo Miami on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. In addition to enjoying over 100 local, international and craft beers, guests can look forward to live performances, food and animal encounters. This year’s musical performances will feature Patrick and the Swayzees, Inna Sense, and Bachaco, plus DJ Surge and Kat Lane. Guests that are fans of both beer and the zoo can enjoy access to both that day, as each Brew at the Zoo ticket will also allow free entry to Zoo Miami.

                Various ticket options are available for the event. General Admission tickets are $40 and include unlimited beer samples, entertainment, access to food vendors, and special offers from local merchants. Brewmaster tickets are $70 and include one hour early entrance to the event, access to exclusive beer tappings that are only available for Brewmaster and VIP ticket holders, a commemorative lanyard, and complete access to the General Admission area. VIP tickets are $80 and include one hour early entrance into the event, complimentary delicious beer-paired food, full size beers, spirit sampling, exclusive beer tappings, a commemorative lanyard and complete access to the General Admission and Brewmaster area. From 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., all guests can get up close with some of Zoo Miami’s resident critters with special animal encounters by the event entrance.

                Tickets are available for purchase at Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152nd Street, Miami, FL 33177. Parking is free.  

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Party for the Planet 2017

Media Contact:

Cindy Castelblanco

Office: 305-255-5551





Guests will learn how to be green with conservation-themed activities for the whole family, plus fun enrichment for our animals!


Miami, FL (April 19, 2017) – During Party for the Planet, held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22 & 23, Zoo Miami guests will enjoy a tree and plant show and sale by the Tropical Tree Society, plus “green” activities and entertainment for the family. Even our animals will be joining the fun with enrichment items made in our new Animal Fun Factory from recycled and natural materials.

Below is the schedule for the weekend’s animal enrichment:

April 22 & 23

11 a.m.                Black bear                                 
11:30 a.m.          Orangutan/white-cheeked gibbons                                    
12 p.m.               Sloth bear                                          
1 p.m.                 Lions                                     
1:45 p.m.           Chimpanzee                                      
2:15 p.m.           African elephants                                           
2:30 a.m.           Saki & golden lion tamarins - Flooded Forest aviary                                     
2:45 p.m.           Black rhino                                       
3 p.m.                 Giraffe

Guests can come in FREE of charge on these days when they turn in a cellphone as part of our ECO-CELL phone recycling program. These donated cell phones will help gorillas by hopefully reducing the need for coltan – a mineral extracted in the deep forests of Congo in Central Africa, home to the world’s endangered lowland gorillas. Fueled by the worldwide cell phone boom, Congo's out-of-control coltan mining business has in recent years led to a dramatic reduction of animal habitat and the rampant slaughter of great apes for the illegal bush-meat trade.

 In the spirit of going green and saving green, Zoo Miami is also offering $5 off admission on these days in exchange for guests bringing in one gently used basketball, soccer ball, football, muffin tin or basket. This offer is limited to one item per person, and cannot be combined with offer promotional offers. These items will be reused for even more enrichment items for our animals!

This year, we are also partnering with the Ramos Boys, who are challenging fellow Miami students to help save the Everglades! Participants are being offered free admission on Saturday, April 22, as an incentive for meeting certain donation marks! Find out more at

On Sunday, April 23, the Florida Youth Orchestra will be performing “Where the Wild Things Area” at the Sami Family Amphitheater.

Members and children under the age of 2 enter free to Zoo Miami. Parking is also free. Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami FL, 33177. Save time, buy your tickets online at More information on Party for the Planet is available at

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Egg Safari 2017

Media Contact:

Cindy Castelblanco
Office: 305-255-5551





Kids ages 12 and under will enjoy hunting for biodegradable Easter eggs filled with palm-oil free and sustainable palm oil candy. Plus, enjoy games, prizes and Easter Bunny photos!

Miami, FL (April 10, 2017) – On April 15 & 16, celebrate Easter the green way during Zoo Miami’s Egg Safari, with 100,000 eco-friendly eggs made in the USA from plants that fully biodegrade. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids 12 and under can enjoy continuous egg hunts, animal egg safaris, music, crafts and games and more – all with a paid Zoo admission. Zoo Miami Members get in FREE, and an hour earlier than non-Members on both days.

            Kids are sure to have a blast dancing to performances by Steve Gryb – “The Pied Piper of Percussion” – and taking photos with the Easter Bunny, plus music, games and prizes by The Hits 97.3 FM. Even our animals will enjoy their own special holiday enrichment treats, made just for them in Zoo Miami’s Animal Fun Factory – where guests can help create these items on weekends and holidays! See schedule below:

Saturday, April 15

10:30 a.m.       Tiger

11 a.m.            Bear

11:30 a.m.       Orangutan

11:45 a.m.       Meerkats

12:30 p.m.       New Guinea singing dogs & tree kangaroos

1 p.m.              Cape hunting dogs

1:45 p.m.         Chimpanzee

2:30 p.m.         Cassowary

3 p.m.              Warty pigs/ red river hogs

3:15 p.m.         Warthogs

Sunday, April 16

10:30 a.m.       Tiger
11 a.m.             Bear
11:30 a.m.        Orangutan
11:45 a.m.        Meerkats
12:30 p.m.        New Guinea singing dogs & tree kangaroos
1 p.m.                Cape hunting dogs
1:45 p.m.          Chimpanzee
2 p.m.                Cassowary
3 p.m.                Warty pigs/red river hogs
3:15 p.m.          Warthogs


            Members and children under the age of 2 enter free to Zoo Miami. Parking is also free. Members hunt one hour early, starting at 10 a.m. Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, FL 33177. Save time, buy your tickets online at More information on Egg Safari is available at

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Monday, April 10, 2017

Summer Savings Pass 2017

4 attractions…4 months of fun…1 price!




Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Discovery and Science and Zoo Miami

 to offer popular unlimited admission pass beginning May 13, 2017.


Fort Lauderdale, FL- March 31, 2017 - Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Discovery and Science and Zoo Miami will be offering a ‘Summer Savings Pass’ for the seventh year in a row.  The Summer Savings Pass will give pass holders unlimited admission to all four attractions throughout the summer!   4 attractions…4 months of fun…1 low price.

The Summer Savings Pass will be available for purchase at each of the participating parks beginning on May 13, 2017 and will be valid for admission to each of the attractions until September 30, 2017. Museum of Discovery and Science, Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, and Zoo Miami will also have the passes for sale online at their respective websites:,, and
At $58 plus tax, per adult and $48 plus tax, per child (ages 3-12), this pass grants unlimited admission through September 30, 2017 at Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Discovery and Science and Zoo Miami. Annual Pass holders of these attractions will be eligible to purchase this pass for only $33 plus tax, per adult, and $23 plus tax, per child. For more information on the Summer Savings Pass visit

Lion Country Safari

Lion Country Safari, located in West Palm Beach, is a four-mile drive-through safari with over 900 animals roaming free within inches of your vehicle including giraffe, zebra, rhinos, lions, wildebeests and more.  Admission includes entry to Safari World Amusement Park with animal encounters (giraffe feeding, bird feeding and petting zoo) and demonstrations, kid’s train, carousel, paddle boats, water spray ground and more), games, shopping, food and thrills. We are located on Southern Boulevard (SR80) (just 15 miles west of I-95/10 miles west of the Turnpike). The park is open daily. For more information, call (561) 793-1084 or visit:

Miami Seaquarium

Discover South Florida’s favorite visitor attraction. Enjoy amazing marine mammal shows with Lolita the orca whale, dolphins and sea lions that delight children of all ages.  Make a feathered friend at the new Penguin Isle exhibit. See world-class sea life exhibits with manatees, sea turtles, sharks, rays and more.  Learn about wildlife rescue and marine animal care at the Conservation Outpost.  Plus, there is no greater thrill than getting in the water with the friendly, intelligent and graceful dolphins at Dolphin Harbor. Connect up close and personal…and become friends for life!

Miami Seaquarium is minutes from downtown Miami, on the Rickenbacker Causeway, on the way to Key Biscayne.  The park is opened daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information or to book a dolphin interaction experience, call (305) 361-5705 or visit

Museum of Discovery and Science

Spend a day of discovery exploring hundreds of interactive exhibits including the Birds of Paradise summer exhibit from National Geographic. Visitors can take a ride on the Everglades Airboat Adventure, experience hurricane force winds in the Storm Center, dig for fossils alongside a giant prehistoric megalodon, enjoy the playful antics of North American river otters and see exciting science demonstrations. Meet an alligator and get eye-ball to eye-ball with a huge Florida spiny lobster. Take a ride to Mars or soar through the skies in an FA-18 cockpit simulator. Whether you’re two or 82 visit the Museum of Discovery and Science and enjoy a full day of family fun.

The Museum is open seven days a week, 365 days a year; Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and is located at 401 S.W. Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For more information call (954) 467-MODS (6637) or visit our web site at

Zoo Miami

Visitors to Zoo Miami can now enjoy the NEW Florida: Mission Everglades expansion with alligators, bobcats, a bald eagle, a Florida panther and more impressive Florida natives.  Guests can slide along otters, come face to face with bears, crawl through a tunnel in the crocodile exhibit, float along the Lostman’s River “airboat” ride, play in the Cypress Landing Playground and more!

Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 street; Miami, FL 33177. Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; ticket booths close at 4 p.m.  Parking is free. For more information, please visit or call (305) 251-0400.


Media Contacts:

Jennifer Berthiaume, Lion Country Safari 561.793.1084 ext. 2260

Judelsys Acosta, Miami Seaquarium 305.365.2525

Marlene Janetos, Museum of Discovery and Science 954.713.0915

Cindy Castelblanco, Zoo Miami 305.328.8811



Posted by Andrea Obregon at Friday, March 31, 2017

Secretary Bird Hatch

February 17, 2017




RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director

305-251-0400, ext. 84916 – Zoo Miami


Zoo Miami is proud to announce the hatchings of a Secretary Bird and a Great Blue Turaco for the first time in the zoo’s history.

The Great Blue Turaco hatched on February 7th after an incubation period of 31 days and weighed just over 40 grams.  Great Blue Turacos are the largest of all of the turacos reaching an overall length of 30 inches and a weight of close to 3 pounds.  They are found in the canopies of forests in Central and Western Africa and feed on a variety of fruits, leaves, flowers, shoots and insects.

The Secretary Bird hatched on February 15th after an incubation of 42 days and weighed just over 86 grams.   Secretary Birds are found in African savannahs and woodlands south of the Sahara and have the longest legs of any bird of prey.  They grow to be almost 5 feet tall with a wingspan that can approach 7 feet.  Though they will eat a variety of reptiles and small mammals, they are famous for hunting and eating snakes, including venomous ones.  They hunt by walking on the ground and when they see a prey species will stomp on it with great quickness and force until it is incapacitated and can be eaten.  They get their name from their resemblance to male secretaries of the early 1700’s who wore gray tail coats and placed quilled pens behind their ears which are replicated in appearance by the specialized feathers that stick out of the back of the head of Secretary Birds. 

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Friday, February 17, 2017

Giant Anteater Exhibit Debut

February 20, 2017






RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director

305-251-0400, ext. 84916 – Zoo Miami



“Bowie,” the first giant anteater ever born at Zoo Miami, will make its exhibit debut tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at the Amazon and Beyond exhibit at Zoo Miami.

Born on December 21st, the male offspring has spent the last several weeks bonding with his mother to insure that he is developing properly prior to being put on public display.  During those weeks, the first-time mother has demonstrated excellent maternal behavior and zoo management has determined that the infant is now established enough to be placed on exhibit for the public to appreciate and admire.

Giant anteaters are the largest of three species of anteaters growing to a length of 7 feet and are found in the tropical grasslands of Central and South America.  They are toothless mammals and have the longest tongue relative to their body size of any mammal.  They use their powerful claws to dig through termite and ant nests where they can eat more than 30,000 of the invertebrates a day!  And though they have no teeth, those powerful claws can be an excellent defense against any threat, including jaguars.  The newborn baby will ride on its mother’s back for up to a year before becoming more independent. 

Interested media should arrive at the Zoo Administration Building adjacent to the front entry plaza by 9:45 a.m. so that they can be escorted back to the exhibit in time to capture the images of mom and baby as they first come out!

Posted by Andrea Obregon at Friday, February 10, 2017

Gorilla Matriarch at Zoo Miami Euthanized

January 18, 2017





RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director

305-251-0400, ext. 84916 – Zoo Miami


It is with heavy hearts that Zoo Miami announces the loss of our matriarch gorilla, “Josephine.”  Born in the wild in March of 1967, the nearly 50-year-old great ape had been suffering from several health issues that have slowly incapacitated her, none of which can be treated with positive results due to her advanced age.  Over the past several days, a variety of exams and tests were performed that resulted in several abnormalities which indicated systemic terminal conditions that had no chance for positive outcomes.

This morning, Josephine could hardly move, even to reach for her favorite treat.  At that time, the staff met and made the very difficult decision that with no hope of recovery, the right thing to do was to humanely euthanize her.  That procedure was successfully performed this afternoon.

This New Year has been especially difficult for the great ape team at the zoo as earlier this month we also lost “Binti,” a 34-year-old female chimpanzee that succumbed to a blood clot.  She was the first chimpanzee born at Zoo Miami and her mother, Rosebud, is still alive and now resides at the St. Louis Zoo.

Josephine arrived at Zoo Miami (then Miami Metrozoo) in March of 1983 on loan from the National Institute of Health.  She was officially donated to the zoo in January of 2000.  In 1984, Josephine gave birth to the first gorilla born at Zoo Miami, a male named “Moja.”  Moja went on to the Gladys Porter Zoo where he fathered several offspring, most notably “Harambe,” the male silverback that was tragically killed at the Cincinnati Zoo last year to avoid serious injury to a child who had fallen into the enclosure.

In 2009, after being practically blind due to severe cataracts, Josephine received cataract surgery and had two artificial human lenses implanted into her eyes that successfully restored her sight.  This historic surgery greatly improved Josephine’s quality of life for several years and was celebrated in the media as well as within the zoological community.

With Josephine’s passing, Fredrika, a 42-year-old female, is the only gorilla that remains at Zoo Miami.  It is most likely that she will be transferred to another institution so that she can be socialized with another gorilla troop.  At that time, Zoo Miami will wait for the recommendation of the Gorilla SSP (Species Survival Plan) coordinator as to what gorillas will come to Zoo Miami to establish a new troop.


Posted by Andrea Obregon at Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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