Today's deal lets you and a friend spend the day communing with the beasts of the sea and birds of the ether: $49 buys you admission for two to Jungle Island, plus two tickets to Penguin Encounter and the opportunity to waddle around with the it-birds of the avian world. You and your animal-loving compadre will get 30 minutes to meet endearing little African penguins, giving you the chance to finally grill them on why exactly they were not on the Ark and where exactly we are supposed to believe they originated.
Penguins aren't the only feathered critters you'll see. Work on your balance by aping a graceful flamingo, or stare down a great horned owl until he concedes to give you all his wisdom. Jungle Island houses more than 1,100 tropical birds and has a phenomenal trained bird show (fully capable of doing your taxes after-hours; ask for Greg). Exotic winged critters flap free through the Jungle Island canopy every day.
Stop in the serpentarium to be hypnotized by a cobra, or gain appreciation for the prehensile-tailed skink, the long-lived tree-dweller whose jungle habitat is quickly disappearing. Marvel at Hercules, the world's largest feline, standing at 11 feet and weighing more than 900 pounds; Hercules is a liger, the offspring of a lion and a tiger. Commune with your cousins in the primate house (if you believe in that whole science fad), and make friends with Peanut and Pumpkin, twin female orangutans—a rare occurrence in the wild or in captivity.
Through a holistic approach to landscape design involving composting, mulching, irrigation, and the planting of canopy trees, Jungle Island is an actual, man-made jungle, complete with a rarely seen, man-made Doctor Moreau (and yes, he appreciates the irony). You'll see tropical and sub-tropical species milling around in a suitable habitat. Grab a few Groupons and make it an outing for the whole family, knitting circle, or motorcycle gang.
- I just want to let everyone know that Jungle Island is a great place to spend the day with or without kids...I love seeing the penguins and the shows are really cool too. – Nancy M., Yelp
- I had one of the best zoo experiences ever at little Jungle Island! The gigantic crocosaurus actually moved (very scary) and the penguins waddled and played with plastic decoy ducks in the water. – Andrea L., Yelp
- This place is a jewel! It is CLEAN, beautifully manicured, has extremely friendly staff, appears well maintained, and the animals look happy & healthy (unlike some of the zoos I've been to recently). – g8torgirl, TripAdvisor
Cerulean waters and towering palms make Jungle Island feel like a tropical paradise—complete with a leopard lurking in the undergrowth. Luckily, this jungle cat is safely within the confines of the Jungle Island, which has inhabited the isle for more than a decade. And yet the story of this popular Miami attraction, which houses everything from exotic birds and primates to rare plants and trees, began more than 75 years ago.
In 1936, Franz Scherr established an aviary where the exotic birds could soar uncaged, giving his South Miami park the apt name of Parrot Jungle. In the following decades, the aviary hosted some noteworthy occupants, such as Pinky—a high-wire bicycle-riding cockatoo—and several pink flamingos that appeared in the opening credits of Miami Vice. When the zoo's current owners purchased the company in 1988, they introduced new mammals and reptiles—but when Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, they were forced to relocate. They settled on Watson Island, and in 2003, finished construction of the animal habitats and 18 acres of tropical gardens, renaming the park Jungle Island.
Hundreds of animals and plants from around the world call Jungle Island home. Naturalistic habitats contain mammals such as orangutans and a liger; reptiles such as American alligators and pythons; and birds such as African penguins and emus. The gardens house rare plants including cycads and African sausage trees. More than 1.35 miles of covered walking trails wind among the exhibits.
Many of these animals feature in daily demonstrations. In Winged Wonders, handlers showcase the antics of colorful parrots, the flight of vultures, and the resident 6-foot cassowary's ability to eat an apple whole. Explore the behavior of rare big cats, including four species of tigers. Alternatively, in-depth tours and encounters may bring guests face-to-face with popular primates, or deep into the Serpentarium to feed an alligator in its enclosure and ponder whether snakes could possibly wear neckties.
1111 Parrot Jungle Trail
Miami, Florida 33132Get Directions