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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

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Press Release

For immediate release
Contact: Yaira Osborne * 904.757.4463 ext. 390 * cell: 904.729.8323 * (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Says ‘Thank You!’ for 100 Years of Support

May 06, 2014 - Jacksonville, Fl -

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is excited to celebrate 100 years of bringing animal ambassadors and botanical gardens to Jacksonville. To celebrate this joyous occasion, on May 10 the Zoo will host a one-of-a-kind anniversary party, with more entertainment than ever before.  The paths of the park will be bustling with booths showcasing conservation efforts that have grown with the Zoo throughout the years. JaZoo and friends will be celebrating with activities for families, wildlife enthusiasts, and the young at heart including animal encounters, bounce houses, and dance performances that will fill the Great Lawn.  There will be a variety of live music provided by Jukebox 337 and LaVilla symphony concert. 

“One hundred years ago the citizens of Jacksonville loved their zoo; today, one hundred years later, this community still loves its zoo.” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “There have been many, many changes over those hundred years, but the one constant has been that the Zoo values that love and strives to make our community proud by getting better and better. The last twenty years has seen the Zoo grow to be one of the finest in the country. We are very excited about the momentum we have as we launch into our next one hundred years.”

          The Zoo began in Springfield in 1914 with one red deer fawn and did not arrive to its current location until 1925. In 2004, the Zoo was recognized by the City of Jacksonville for its expansive gardens that have turned the Zoo into the largest botanical gardens in Northeast Florida. In 2005 the Zoo was awarded “Best Exhibit” from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for its Range of the Jaguar exhibit. And just this year, the Zoo opened its newest exhibit, Land of the Tiger, bringing guests face-to-face with tigers. Without passionate staff, board members and supportive community, the Zoo could not be Northeast Florida’s leading tourist attraction that it is today. 

          The 100th anniversary theme celebration will continue on the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day, May 11 with live music provided by J Collins, Mondo Mike and the Po Boys with Spice, as well as Al Monte and Company’s Coming. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a special Mother’s Day brunch, and the Zoo is offering a special admission for all mothers visiting the Zoo on Mother’s day.  Additional details are available at http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.   

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About Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
For 100 years, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has aimed to inspire the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. 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 plants, boasting the largest botanical garden in Northeast Florida. The Jacksonville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information, visit http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.