Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Launches New Behind-The-Scenes Experiences

  • by 904 Newsroom
  • August 16, 2023

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Launches New Behind-The-Scenes Experiences Visitors can now go behind-the-scenes at Northeast Florida’s #1 attraction 

JACKSONVILLE, FL — (August 16, 2023) Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announces the launch of its new  Behind-the-Scenes Experiences, offering guests an extraordinary opportunity to get up close and  personal with some of the Zoo's most beloved residents. Visitors will explore the inner workings of some  of the animal habitats, gaining insights into the care, conservation and research efforts that take place  daily.  
For the first time in its nearly 110-year history, the Zoo is opening its doors to areas not accessible to the  general public, allowing guests the opportunity to create unforgettable memories and foster a deeper  appreciation for wildlife conservation. The exclusive experiences are an average duration of 45 to 60  minutes, with an encounter with a different species.  

"We are excited to unveil our new Behind-the-Scenes Experiences, which will allow our visitors to get  one step closer to their favorite animals and engage with our zoo and gardens in a whole new way," said  Kelly Rouillard, Director of Marketing and Sales at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. "These unique  experiences help us accomplish our mission of connecting communities with wildlife and wild places and offer valuable insight into the vital role zoos and aquariums play in conservation." 

Guests can choose from a variety of experiences, such as African Elephant Painting, Southern Cassowary  Encounters, Magellanic Penguin Encounters, Greater Flamingo Mingle, Warty Pig Encounters and a tour  of the Manatee Critical Care Center. 

• During the African Elephant Painting experience, participants can witness the artistic talents of  the Zoo's resident elephants as they create marvelous masterpieces with their trunks. This  interactive encounter allows guests to observe the elephants' natural behaviors up close while  learning more from on-site animal care specialists. 
• The Southern Cassowary Encounters offer a rare chance to meet one of the world's most  fascinating and endangered birds. Visitors will learn about the cassowary's unique  characteristics and have an opportunity to feed and interact with the magnificent creatures.
• For those captivated by the charm of penguins, the Magellanic Penguin Encounters are a must try. Guests will have the chance to meet these adorable sea birds, participate in a feeding  session and learn more about their nesting habits. 
• The Greater Flamingo Mingle provides an intimate encounter with these elegant and vibrant  birds. Visitors will have the opportunity to mingle among the flamingos, observing their graceful  movements and feeding the flock their favorite snacks. 
• Warty Pig Encounters offer a unique opportunity to meet these charismatic and critically  endangered pigs. Guests will discover fascinating facts about warty pigs, their habitat and the  conservation efforts in place to protect them from extinction. 
• Take a behind the scenes tour of the Manatee Critical Care Center and see what it takes to  rehabilitate one of Florida’s most iconic species! Visitors learn about the Zoo's vital role in  rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing injured or orphaned manatees back into the wild. 
Behind-the-Scenes Experiences will be available starting Labor Day Weekend and are not included with  admission. Experiences and admission tickets can be purchased at www.jacksonvillezoo.org. 

About Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens 
For over 100 years, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has aimed to inspire the discovery and appreciation of  wildlife through innovative experiences. Starting in 1914 with an animal collection of one red deer fawn,  the Zoo now has more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 species of plants, boasting the largest  botanical garden in Northeast Florida. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a nonprofit organization and a  portion of every ticket sold goes to the over 45 conservation initiatives Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens  supports around the world, and in NE Florida. JZG is proud to be an accredited member of the Association  of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information, visit jacksonvillezoo.org.


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