All Stories

The Bizarre Boat-Billed Heron

by larissa ogin, keeper assistant   In 2020 we welcomed three Honduran boat-billed heron ( Cochlearius cochlearius ridgwayi ) chicks to the Emerald Forest Aviary and one to the River Valley Aviary. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens started housing boat-billed herons in 1990 and has had many years of successful breeding since then. This bizarre-looking heron is known for its odd-shaped bill that resembles the hull of a boat. They’re also recognizable by their large, dark... Read More
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Do Manatees Celebrate Thanksgiving?

By Fatima Ramis, Wildlife Wellness & Research Officer   During Thanksgiving we gather from far and near with loved ones and those we haven’t seen in years. We endure long car rides and sometimes stressful plane rides. We endure this to unwind from our fast-paced lives, be close to others, and of course feast! Are we alone? Our large marine friends may share more with us than facial... Read More
Posted by Morgan Purvis at 11/24/20
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Gardening with Trees: Part One

By Jen Best, Horticulture Supervisor   You look at that brown twig sitting in a bucket of soil at your local plant nursery and think, “Why should I plant this puny little tree?” My question is, “Why shouldn’t you plant a tree?” Trees are incredible. This is a fact. If there were no trees, the world would be a sad, sad place. They take all the carbon dioxide that we exhale every day, along with the carbon dioxide produced from our civilized... Read More
Posted by Morgan Purvis at 11/24/20
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Lusia the Manatee Release

What better way to recognize Manatee Awareness Month than by releasing a manatee back into the wild?  We successfully released Lusia the manatee in Daytona Beach on November 19 after she spent three months here in rehabilitation. She's our third release in 2020 and 16th total since the opening of the Manatee Critical Care Center. Staff estimated her to be around 4 years old due to her size, weighing 713 pounds at her release. Lusia was rescued on Aug. 22 when she was found... Read More
at 11/20/20
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