Miami Metro Zoo: Animals and More
Animals The Nature Side of Miami
By John McNamara
can you be in Asia, Africa and Australia in one day? Well of coarse
at the Miami Metro Zoo, a world renown zoo. I was at the zoo, on a
typical South Florida Summer day, hot in the morning, rainy in the
afternoon, and beautiful in the evening. So in order to see all the
moods of the animals, you may want to spend the whole day at the zoo.
During the midday heat, you
may want to visit the Africa section where the monkeys and Gorillas
are. They always are very interesting and animated, making lots of
noise and movement. In the Chimpanzee and
Gorilla section has a great viewing
area where you can walk into the animals living area and view them
from behind a large plexi-glass window. They are only inches from
you. In the Gorilla area, the big guy was laying down with both his
big feet lying on the window. You really get to see every detail of
this majestic animal and understand the power they have. Especially
when they start pounding there feet on the glass.
animals to visit while in the Africa section of the Zoo are the Zebra,
Elephants, Impala and the Ostrich. Here are some interesting facts
about Gorillas. Gorillas are only from Africa and ranging from size
from 5’ 6” to 5’, about 500 – 300 lbs. They
can have an arm span up to 9’ feet long. The Gorillas at the
Miami Metro zoo had dark black fur with black skin on the chest, palms
and face. All Gorillas are quadrupedal, which means they walk on all
fours with the soles of their feet flat on the ground and the knuckles
on the hands curled and planted on the ground. The gestation is usually
8 months and their lifespan is between 30 – 50 years. Gorillas
do not drink water. They obtain all the moisture they need from the
vast amounts of foliage they consume, about 50 lbs a day.
the heat steams up the skies, the black clouds roll in for the usual
afternoon rain showers. So always during the summer months carry an
umbrella or portable rain gear. During the rain, the animals become
alive. The temperature cools down and the animals are ready to play.
During this rainy time go to the Asia section of the Zoo and watch
the Bengal Tigers in action. These playful animals are something to
see, especially the rare white Bengal tiger the Miami metro zoo has.
Other animals to see while seeing the tigers are the Komodo Dragon,
Himalayan Black Bear, and the Cape Hunting Dog. Interesting facts
about the Bengal tiger, they are about 9 feet or 3 meters long, and
weighs approximately 400- 569 LB (180-285 kg ). The tigers are solitary
animals. The male and female only come together at mating season,
when sharing a kill, or when sharing the same watering holes. The
litter ranges from one to six cubs, which stay with their mother until
their second year. Their diet is varied from deer and cattle to frogs
and fish. While they eat a vast range of food, they also eat a lot
of food. They can eat up to the equivalent of 100 pounds in one serving!
They are usually located on the Mainland of Southeastern Asia and
in central and southern India. The white Bengal tiger lives in grassy
or swampy areas and forests, where they can be well camouflaged.
After the rains cooled everything off, the skies were beautiful and
blue again, you can finish off the rest of the safari. The final part
of the zoo to adventure into is the Australian section of the zoo,
where one of the biggest reptiles lives, the Crocodile. Other Australian
animals on display are Koala, Tree Kangaroo, Crested Screamer, Giant
Land Tortoise, Wart Hog, and of coarse the famous Wallaby. Florida
and Australian have one animal in common which is the Crocodile. Here
are some facts of these misunderstood reptiles: Crocodiles are reptiles
that live both on land and in water. Like other reptiles, they breathe
air. Some male crocodiles can live up to 70-100 years old. Crocodiles
are "cold-blooded". To get warm they lie in the sun. To
cool down, they lie in the shade with their mouths wide open or laze
in the water. To control their body temperature, crocodiles control
the blood flow inside their bodies. They can 'shut down' blood flow
or speed it up.
Crocodiles can swim long distances and stay underwater for up to 5
hours. On land, crocodiles can move quickly (up to 80 kilometers per
hour) although this is only over short distances as they tire quickly.
Male crocodiles can weigh over a ton and measure over 16 feet in length.
Crocodiles have very good vision, they can see almost 180 degrees
but can't see anything below their nose. A female crocodile will defend
its nest to the death from any and all animals. When the mother crocodile
hears the babies calling, she runs over to dig them out of the nest.
She then carries her babies safely to the water in her mouth. Crocodiles
can live for months without eating because they do not use much energy.
Gorilla, Bengal Tiger, and Crocodile are only a few of the animals
to learn about. There is so much to learn from each animal at the
zoo. The zoo keepers will feed and talk about the Bengal Tiger, Orangutan,
Otter, Heerkat, Dramedary Camel, Pygmy Hippo, Chimpanzee/Gorilla,
Himalayan Black Bear, Giraffe, African Elephant, Galapagoes Tortoise
every day. Make sure to get the times when you enter the Zoo.
Finally, the Miami Metro Zoo has plenty of shelters for shade and
rain protection, plus nice water mister along the paths to cool you
down. Other amenities at the Zoo range from Stroller Rentals, Wheel
Chair Rental, Food and Drinks, Birthday Packages, Picnic and Group
Gatherings, huge Gift Shop. If you get tired while walking around,
you can jump on the Zoo Monorail. It comes in handy to get from one
end to other of the Zoo. The park is open all year round and from
9:30am to 5:30pm, the prices are $12 for adults, 13 years and up,
children 3 – 12, $7, and less than 3 years old FREE. Call for
more information, 305-251-0400. You will have a great day at the Miami
Metro Zoo. There are many activities to choose from, like swimming with the dolphins in Miami but the Miami Metro Zoo is great choice too.
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