Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jungle Island

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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jungle islandIt’s not a typical park. In roughly 22 acres, boaters visiting Jungle Island will find everything from penguins and parrots to tigers, spotted leopards, and orangutans – right in the heart of Miami. Docking is available at the nearby Miami Yacht Club.

IMG_9098Jungle Island has a long history. First opened in 1936 by Franz Scherr in the town of Pinecrest, Florida, the theme park was originally named Parrot Jungle. It grew over the years, and it was eventually moved off the mainland to Watson Island, located in Biscayne Bay, in 2003. The name officially changed to Jungle Island in 2007 to better encompass the wide array of plants and animals currently on the site.

Walking through the trails, you will feel as if you are on a real-life jungle safari. However, in this case it’s much easier to interact with the animals. Visitors can stop at feeder stations along the pathways and offer a palm-full of food to the many species of birds that fly freely throughout the facility.

IMG_6137True to its past, parrots remain one of the most popular attractions at Jungle Island. Handlers offer plenty of chances for a snapshot with the exotic birds. Talking parrots are also featured during the daily show, Winged Wonders that includes plenty of other action: vultures fly inches above the audience’s head, and an iconic cockatoo, Pinky, rides a high-wire bicycle. The show begins each day at 2:30 pm.
Following Winged Wonders, the park offers a show featuring some of the rarest big cats in the world. A rotating cast of tigers, black panthers, a lynx, leopards, and cougars take the stage in Wild Encounters, a show taking place daily at 4:30 pm.

There are plenty of other animals to see at Jungle Island. Presentations given by park employees include information on squirrel monkeys, free-flying macaws, and orangutans. Visitors learn about each animal’s natural environment and habits of their everyday life. Smaller children will likely enjoy a petting barn on the outskirts of the park where they can pet and feed barn animals.IMG_6265

The theme park has a penguin exhibit where South African penguins can be seen waddling around and swimming in their pool-like enclosure. The park also has kangaroos and tortoises that can live for 150 years and grow up to 500 pounds.

If you want to experience a more water-related activity, Jungle Island recently opened Rainforest Riptide, a waterpark for all ages.

For more information: visit www.jungleisland.com or call 305-400-7000. To make docking reservations, call 305-371-0703.

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webPlus_web_green1Video on Jungle Island

 

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