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Miami MetroZoo: Wikis


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Miami MetroZoo
Entrance to the zoo
Date opened 1948
Location Miami-Dade County, Florida
Land area 740 acres (3.0 km2)[1]
Number of animals 1,200
Number of species 400
Memberships AZA
Major exhibits 80

Miami MetroZoo is the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida. It is located in southern unincorporated Miami-Dade County southwest of the city of Miami and west of the village of Palmetto Bay. It houses over 1,200 wild animals and is the only subtropical zoo in the continental United States.[2]The zoo is on 740 acres (3.0 km2), 300 of which are developed. It is 3 mi (5 km) around if walked on the path, and has over 80 exhibits.[1]



The history of the zoo can be traced back to the year 1948, when 3 monkeys, a goat and 2 black bears were purchased for $270 from a small road show stranded near Miami. These 6 animals were the beginning of the Crandon Park Zoo on the island of Key Biscayne, just southeast off the coast from downtown Miami. In 1965, Hurricane Betsy devastated the zoo and caused the death of 250 animals. After the hurricane, Dade County officials applied for 600 acres (2.4 km2) of land in the Richmond Naval Air Station property on December 11, 1970. Construction began in 1975, and the grand opening of Asia, the first major exhibit, opened on December 12, 1981. A total of 38 exhibits, covering 200 acres (0.81 km2), were available to the public. By 1987 the zoo had grown to over 1,200 animals, and was considered one of the top 25 zoos in the country. 1992 saw the arrival of Hurricane Andrew which devastated the zoo and took years to recover from.[3]

New Exhibits

A new exhibit, Amazon and Beyond, opened December 6, 2008. This new exhibit has 27 acres (11 ha) dedicated to the flora and fauna of tropical America. Some of the featured animals in this exhibit are jaguars, anacondas, giant river otters, giant anteaters and harpy eagles.[4]


On November 7, 2006 voters approved for an expansion of MetroZoo. This expansion is set to include a family oriented hotel and water park adjacent to the current zoo in order to attract more visitors, since attendance has been lacking in the years after Hurricane Andrew, [5] [6] which ravaged the zoo, as well as destroyed the aviary (which was subsequently rebuilt with corporate sponsorship help, and now flourishes with dozens of bird species from Southeast Asia).

The zoo is also set to begin planning on new projects including, "zoowide facelifts" and a Florida exhibit. The information can be found on the zoo's website.


The original MetroZoo aviary (destroyed in 1992 by Hurricane Andrew) was featured during the opening sequence of an episode from Miami Vice's second season called, The Fix.



  1. ^ a b Official Website - Quick Facts
  2. ^ Redland Riot Tour - Metro Zoo
  3. ^ Official Website - Zoo History
  4. ^ Official Website
  5. ^ Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation - Zoo expansion
  6. ^ Miami Herald - Voters approve Metrozoo expansion

External links

Coordinates: 25°36′28″N 80°24′00″W / 25.6077°N 80.4001°W / 25.6077; -80.4001



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