Paul's Travel Pictures

Miami MetroZoo - Summer 2008
Pictures, a video clip, & visitor information from a trip to the Miami Metro Zoo located in Miami-Dade County, FL.

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Long Driveway

 
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Miami MetroZoo Sign

 
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Front Entrance To Zoo

 

The Miami MetroZoo is located at 12400 SW 152 Street in Miami, FL 33177.

Visitor hours are from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM 365 days a year but the ticket booth closes at 4 PM.

The admission price adults is just $13.95 for adults or $9.95 for children (2-12 years of age). There are discounts for AAA members, Miami-Dade County employees, military, travel agents, and tour operators.

Before our visit, we joined as members of the Miami MetroZoo so we got in for free. The fee was $49 for one year of benefits for two people.

The membership is actually with the Zoological Society of Florida (ZSF) which allows us free or discounted admission to over 180 zoos, wildlife centers and aquariums across the USA.

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Pelican Cove
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Pelicans Swimming
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White Ibis Bird
If you enjoy observing wildlife, I highly recommend you become a member of your local zoo or the AZA (Association of Zoos & Aquariums). The fee for becoming a member of the AZA is $60 per person or $120 for the two of us which is more than double the $49 fee that we paid for the two person membership at the Miami MetroZoo. But the extra expense is worth it, since the AZA's list includes more "reciprocal" (free admission) attractions. The reciprocal list for the ZSF (Zoological Society of Florida) is great but there are more 50% or less discounts rather than completely free reciprocal attractions. We've already received more than our money's worth after a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, and the Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota, FL.
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Flamingo Habitat
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Flamingos Drinking Water
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Ducks
At the Miami MetroZoo you can observe over 1000 animals which represent more than 400 unique species. Be sure that you wear some comfortable walking shoes because this zoo sits on 740 acres, 300 of which are developed. Most of the animals reside in large "cageless" habitats that allow them to roam around freely with usually just a small fence and water filled canal separating them from their human admirers.
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MetroZoo Walkway
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No Crowds Early Morning
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Bengal Tiger Exhibit Sign

A full loop around the entire zoo is about 3 miles long which can take a few hours to complete if you stop for a few minutes at each animal. Don't feel like walking with the hot South Florida sun beating down on you? Then rent a 4 wheeled Safari Cycle ($22-$32), take a tram tour ($4.95), or get a bird's eye view of the Miami MetroZoo from the monorail ($3 per person). You can also rent strollers, wagons and wheelchairs for about $8 to $11 per day.

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White Bengal Tiger Resting
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White Tiger Face Close Up
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Orange/Black Bengal Tiger
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Tortoise
Just a few of the animals you'll see on a trip to the Miami MetroZoo include Asian Bears, Arabian Orxy, Sable Antelopes, Cape Hunting Dogs, African Lions, Black Neck Storks, Meerkats, Indian Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapirs, Cuban Crocodiles, Bengal Tigers, Malayan Sun Bears, Orangutans, Dama Gazelles, Ring Tailed Lemurs, Red River Hogs, Giant Tortoises, Dromedary Camel, Bactrian Camel, Spotted Hyenas, Pygmy Hippos, Kangaroos, Lowland Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Giant Elands, Grevy's Zebras, Defassa Waterbucks, Andean Condors, Reticulated Giraffes, Ostrich, Grant's Gazelle, Greater Kudu, African Crowned Cranes, Colobus Monkey, African Elephants and many more. The zoo's animals are organized into three main types which are the African Exhibits, the Asian Exhibits, and the Australian Exhibits.
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Crocodile
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Monitor Lizard
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Python Snake
I was so involved with taking pictures of the animals that I didn't realize that there were hundreds of orchid flowers in the trees until I read the Miami MetroZoo brochure when we got home. Apparently the orchid collection is sponsored by the Eastern Airlines Orchid Society. To see some of my orchid pictures, check out this gallery from the American Orchid Society in Delray Beach, FL.
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Hippo Statue
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Park Bench For Resting
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Monkey Habitat
To get closer to some of the animals there are a variety of opportunities including the Wildlife Show, Diego's Discovery Den, the Zoo Keeper Talks, the Giraffe Feeding Encounter, the Pelican Feeding Encounter, the Animal Meet & Greets and the Behind The Scenes Tram Tour. If that's not enough for you, they also offer the "Zookeeper For A Day", "Teen Zookeeper For A Day", the "Zoodler Academy", the Zoo Inns overnight stays, the "Behind The Scenes" Keeper Tours, and the "Wild Nights" Evening Tours.
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Red-Ruffed Lemur Sign
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Ring-Tailed Lemur
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Red-Ruffed Lemur


 
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New Guinea Singing Dog
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The Miami MetroZoo is a great place to take the kids since they have a special Children's Zoo sponsored by Mercantil Commerce Bank. Inside there is a petting zoo, The Toadstool Exhibit (frogs, snakes, lizards), the Water-Play area, the Wildlife Carousel, Diego's Discovery Den, Humpy's Camel Rides, a snack bar, the Butterfly Garden, and the Meerkat Exhbit.
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Matschie's Tree Kangaroo
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Red Kangaroo
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I saw some signs announcing the addition of the "Amazon & Beyond" exhibit which is going to be opening in the Fall of 2008. Since our ZSF membership allows us free admission for a year, we'll definitely be coming back to check that out. The cooler weather should also encourage the animals to be more active. It was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside during this visit and a lot of the critters seemed content to just snooze in the shade.
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Kangaroo Hopping
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Aldabran Tortoise
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Giant Tortoise
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Amphitheatre
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The Wildlife Show
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Shimmering Lake
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Pedal Boats For Rent
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Koi Goldfish Swimming
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As we walked past the Oasis Grille in the middle of the zoo, I noticed a scenic lake so we walked down towards the water. Right away, three large Japanese Koi Gold Fish came rapidly swimming towards us with their mouths open. I guess they must be accustomed to being fed by the visitors. Another great place to see Koi is at the Morikami Museum & Gardens located in Delray Beach, FL.
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Hungry Japanese Koi
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Pygmy Hippopotamus
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Chimpanzees Grooming
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To see a video clip of the animals at the Miami MetroZoo in action, click on the large blue link below. The movie is encoded in the Windows Media (WMV) format at 2,000+ kb/s, runs about 3 minutes long and has a file size of 50 megabytes.

Miami MetroZoo Animals In Action Video Clip

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Chimp Mouth Open
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Nyala
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Chimpanzee Encounter Cave

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