More than 2,000 animals and 1,000 plants occupy more than 115 acres at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where you’ll find wildlife from every corner of the globe and a variety of family-friendly activities, educational resources, and attractions. Just a few of the animal exhibits you’ll find at the Jacksonville Zoo include the African Forest, River Valley Aviary, Giraffe Overlook, and Land of the Tiger.
Guests can walk along the 1,400-foot long boardwalk and see the animals in their large, open environment called the Plains of East Africa.
As you enter the loop, you will see the greater flamingo exhibit, aldabra tortoise, and warthogs.
The bongo exhibit is in the center of the loop around the Plains. Home to eastern bongo and yellow backed duikers, the exhibit is spacious and tree-shaded. It is also home to a wild breeding colony of the endangered wood storks.
This rare stork species is the tallest of the African storks. Wattled cranes, the rarest of the African cranes, also occupy this area.
The cheetah exhibit is a 300-foot long, 50-foot wide area. It is home to one male cheetah, one of whom walks with a limp due to an injury when he was just a cub. White rhinoceros, greater kudu, marabou stork, east African crowned crane, and ostrich inhabit one area that encompass a 2.5-acre area, allowing plenty of room for the animals to roam.
An okapi exhibit and a Grevy’s zebra exhibit are further along the boardwalk.
Elephant Plaza offers an intimate view of the elephants and their 275,000-gallon pool. Jacksonville Zoo is home to two African Elephant females and one male. Included in the same area is the African Reptile Building, home of some of the world’s deadliest snakes, such as vipers, cobras and mambas. In the Plaza, there are vultures, bats, rock hyrax, and other animals.
Mahali Pa Simiba (“Place of the Lion” in Swahili) is the one-acre home to our lions. These lions can be viewed from the overlook on the boardwalk or in a viewing area along the main path. Siamangs live in the area in front of the lions’ area.
Eastern Bongo, Cheetah, Egyptian Cobra, Red-spitting Cobra, East African Grey-Crowned Crane, African Elephant, Greater Flamingo, Rock Hyrax, Greater Kudu, Lion, Girdled Lizard, Western Plated Lizard, West African Green Mamba, Bronze-backed Mantella, Okapi, Ostrich, African Rock Python, Southern White Rhino, Siamang, Eastern Coral Snake, Aldabra Tortoise, Pancake Tortoise, African Bush Viper, Gaboon Viper, Lappet-faced Vulture, Palm-nut Vulture, Warthog, Grevy's Zebra
With African Forest, we have combined the best in exhibit design, research, animal wellness, and interpretation; pushing our boundaries and charting a new zoo path.
From the moment guests approach the new African Forest entryway, they are captivated by a magnificent 40 foot Kapok Tree. This iconic tree serves as the heart and hub of the exhibit. The interior of the massive trunk is accessible to staff via a stairway so that caretakers may study and attend to the animals.
Building in choices, challenges, and variation is a key element of wellness-inspired design and a foundational principle of the new African Forest. With the help of a small force of dedicated students, guides, and volunteers, our Animal Wellness Department gathers and analyzes observational and behavioral data. This data was applied to the design of African Forest with the goal of creating environments in which animals thrive.
Bonobo, Angolan Colobus, Guereza Colobus, Western Lowland Gorilla, Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur, Ring-tailed Lemur, Mandrill
Take a walkabout through the Australian Adventure exhibit. Animals in this South Pacific attraction include a cassowary, emus, and the ever-popular and colorful lorikeets that you can feed in a free-flight aviary.
Double-wattled or Southern Cassowary, Emu, Rainbow Lorikeet, Yellow-streaked Lory
Take a stroll across the elevated viewing platform and get eye-to-eye with a giraffe. The covered boardwalk gives guests a breathtaking view across a replica of the African Savanna. Giraffe walk and graze freely in this 2.5 acre exhibit adjacent to the Savanna Blooms botanical gardens.
Our Asia Loop begins with the Komodo Dragon exhibit, set in an Indonesian fishing village on the Island of Komodo. There, it appears that the two Komodo dragon residents are wandering the backyards of the village or basking in the sun. Visitors will periodically get an opportunity to see zookeepers train the animals through an interactive panel in public view.
Continue on the path to experience our award-winning Land of the Tiger and discover tigers like you’ve never seen them before! The Malayan and Sumatran tigers, who call this exhibit home, are free to roam through the area via an innovative trail system. Guests will have the ability to potentially see a tiger from almost anywhere in this one of a kind 2.5 acre exhibit.
Land of the Tiger: Malayan Tiger, Sumatran Tiger, North Sulawesi Babirusa, Wreathed Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Asian Small-clawed Otter, Visayan Warty Pig
Other Asia Loop Residents: Komodo Dragon, Koi
Play Park is a place where children learn about and re-connect with nature while having fun. It occupies 2.5 acres located just past the Range of the Jaguar and the Wildlife Carousel.
Find your way through two mazes and then climb, jump, and get wet in the 4,000 square-foot Splash Ground. Imitate the squirrel monkeys by climbing on vines in front of their exhibit. Climb into a tree house, on the rock wall or dig for artifacts in the Forest Play area. Watch the penguins through a tunnel window as they swim overhead. Brush the West African pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf goats in the Animal Care area. And, enjoy kid-friendly food from the Play Park Café (open seasonally).
Nigerian Dwarf Goat, West African Pygmy Goat, Squirrel Monkey, Magellanic Penguin
The Range of the Jaguar is a two-time national award-winning South American exhibit. At the edge of the rainforest next to the animal exhibits is a village area where you’ll find the Palm Plaza restaurant, Village Sweet Shop, and restrooms. In addition to enjoying the breathtaking jaguar exhibits, take the time to walk the winding halls of the captivating Lost Temple; to see bushmaster snakes, poison dart frogs, anaconda, vampire bats, Utila spiny-tailed iguanas, and more.
Catch sight of howler monkeys, giant anteaters, and capybaras coexisting in the River’s Edge exhibit.
As you walk through the Emerald Forest Aviary, an Inca tern might fly by. Look for a red-capped cardinal perched above you, a sunbittern sunning itself on a low branch, or a macaw that’s close enough to touch. While in the aviary, you’ll have an opportunity to see the largest freshwater fish, the arapaima, which can grow up to 15 feet in length and can weigh up to 400 pounds!
Rare giant otters will entertain you with their playful antics at the back of the Aviary.
Home to exotic birds representing many different species, the River Valley Aviary is a two-story enclosure covering 9,000 square feet. It allows birds such as the yellow-billed stork, white-bellied bustard, and turacos to fly about freely.
Abdim Stork African Spoonbill Hadada Ibis Hammerkop Javan Pond Heron Marbled teal North American Rudy Duck Waldrapp Ibis White-Faced Whistling duck Yellow-Billed Duck Yellow-Billed Stork Crested Screamer Spotted Dikkop Verreaux’s Eagle Owl Blue-Bellied Roller Honduran Boat-Billed Heron Cape Teal Straw-Colored Fruit Bat Tawny Frogmouth Violet Turaco
Guests can pet and feed the stingrays in this fun and interactive exhibit!
Atlantic Guitarfish Atlantic Stingray Bluntnose Stingray Cownose Stingray Southern Stingray
Wild Florida is 2.5 acres of natural wetlands consisting of native animals and plants and is home to alligators, black bears, whooping cranes, bald eagles, bobcats, white-tailed deer and pudu.
The Reptile House at Wild Florida is home to more than 25 different species of reptiles and amphibians including the eastern indigo snake, one of several threatened species protected by the State of Florida.
The alligators are located just north of the reptile house and are fed every Saturday at 2:15 p.m. from mid-March through November.
American Alligator, North American Black Bear, Florida Bobcat, Southern Copperhead Whooping Crane, Bald Eagle, Peninsula Newt, Marbled Salamander, Greater Siren, Everglades Rat Snake, Grey Rat Snake, Red Rat Snake, Yellow Rat Snake, Diamondback Terrapin Gopher Tortoise, Barking Tree Frog, Green Tree Frog, Squirrel Tree Frog, Alligator Snapping Turtle, Florida Box Turtle, Florida Mud Turtle