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See Wildlife at the Naples Zoo

While vacationing in Naples, there are a few activities that you just can’t miss. Between the beautiful beaches, delectable restaurants, and unique shopping, it can be hard to narrow down exactly what you want to do. If you’re looking for family-friendly activities in Naples, the Naples Zoo has to be on your list and it is only down the road from our vacation rental condos.

Of all the things to do in Naples, the Naples Zoo is on the list for a reason. Tourists and locals alike love visiting the zoo to witness the wildlife both native and exotic. Children and adults of all ages will find something to pique their interests, and there is a wide range of activities happening all year long, so no matter when you visit, there will be something unique and fun to explore! Once you visit, it won’t be hard to see why the Naples Zoo has to be a stop on your getaway.

Overview shot alligator bay of Naples Zoo in Florida

History

The Naples Zoo has been welcoming visitors and pushing forward with conservation efforts for almost a century! 2019 marks 50 years as a zoo and 100 years as a botanical garden. Botanist Dr. Henry Nehrling began the story of Naples Zoo in 1919. After losing a large portion of his plants to a freeze in 1917, he wanted a new place to cultivate his collection again. By 1925, Dr. Nehrling had amassed over 3,000 species of tropical plants!

Famous guests to the “Tropical Garden” during this time include politician and president Theodore Roosevelt, botanist David Fairchild, and inventor Thomas Edison, among others. Unfortunately, Nehrling passed away in 1929, and it would take more than 20 years for his garden to receive acclaim again. Dr. Nehrling received multiple posthumous awards for his conservation efforts, and in 1946, Julius Fleischmann came into Naples from Cincinnati, Ohio, and would soon begin to restore Nehrling’s property to its former glory.

Throughout the 1950s, the Caribbean Gardens, as it is now known, was restored and enhanced, as it now also included various species of tropical birds. Finally, in 1967, Col. Lawrence and Nancy Jane Tetzlaff visited the gardens and fell in love, bringing their array of animals and exhibits to the Gardens after Fleischmann’s death in 1969. Since then, the Zoo has been a top destination for locals and tourists alike to witness the incredible Naples wildlife and nature.

Lion in exhibit at Naples Zoo in Florida

Animals

At Naples Zoo, you will find a wide variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles to observe. Macaws, hawks, and parrots are some of the majestic flying creatures you can see as they soar overhead. You can get near mammals like the six-banded armadillo and the red fox, or watch larger creatures like the African lion, black bear, and Florida panther. Reptiles at the Zoo include pythons, tortoises, rattlesnakes, alligators, and more. Big or small, you’ll find it here, and you’ll often be just a few steps away from these fascinating animals!

Activities

The Naples Zoo constantly has activities happening that are fun for the whole family. One popular activity is Wild Encounters, where you will be led by a zookeeper to get up close and personal with the wildlife. Depending on which animal you visit, you may get to feed and interact with them! Keep in mind that this activity does require a reservation, which can be made on the Zoo’s website.

Other fun activities include Zoo Yoga, Safari Squad, and Camp WILD! The Zoo also hosts special events throughout the year.

Witness the beauty of nature and all the stunning wildlife that the Zoo has to offer! For more information about the Naples Zoo, the city of Naples, and our luxury vacation rentals contact us today.