Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park a Delightful Family Attraction

Accredited by the American Zoological Association, the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park is set on 23 tropically-landscaped acres in West Palm Beach, Florida. More than 1,500 animals can be viewed at this zoological park, which is located near Interstate 95 and close to many of West Palm Beach's other family attractions.

The Palm Beach Zoo is home to a huge variety of animals from around the world, including mammals, invertebrate, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds, all living in natural habitats similar to those of their native areas. In addition, chickens, peafowl, and iguanas roam the zoo freely, and though visitors shouldn't touch them, they can enjoy the antics of these animals as well.

The Palm Beach Zoo is divided into several themed areas. Guests can explore the Florida Wetlands, which includes such animals as river otters, raccoons, the Florida panther, bald eagles, black bears, the American alligator, flamingos, and other assorted waterfowl. The Birds of Prey exhibit is also located in this southeast corner of the zoo as is the Florida Pioneer House, which gives visitors a look at the state in its early days.

Located near the Florida Wetlands area is a grand carousel, stocked with 32 colorful creatures including horses, hummingbird, ostrich, sea dragon, white tiger, jaguar, zebra and ostrich. It's a favorite stopping place for the zoo's youngest visitors and all money collected for fares is used for the care of the zoo's many residents.

Upon exiting the Florida area, guests may find themselves at the zoo's newest area, the Cornell Tropics of the Americas. Opened in 2004, this $18 million addition to the Palm Beach Zoo includes many animals from Central and South America and also showcases the culture of those areas. This three-acre portion of the zoo echoes the habitat of the rainforest and includes animals such as jaguars, bush dogs, Baird's tapirs, Patagonian cavies, capybaras and giant anteaters. Zoo visitors can also view replicas of the Mayan pyramids and Aztec and Inca sculptures here.

A further stroll down the zoo's main pathway will take guests to the Asian and Australian portion of the facility. Here, zoo patrons can explore red kangaroos, emus, wallabies, tamarin, sloth, and even a giant Burmese python. The Lemur Island area is home to those feisty little critters as well as some of the zoo's primate residents, who live on neighboring Siamang Island. Guests can also view tropical birds like parrots and macaws and a handful of rotating exhibits that change a few times each year.

At the entrance/exit to the zoo, the interactive play fountain is the perfect place to get cooled off after a long day spent visiting the animals. Here, children can frolic amidst dancing jets of water and move to energetic music. Changing rooms are provided so kids can go home dry.

For hungry visitors, the Tropics Caf,, located between the Florida Wetlands and Tropics of the Americas, offers full-service air-conditioned dining. An adjacent concession stand offers lighter fare and snacks.

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