One of the first things you notice in the park is the fabulous birds running around!
I loved getting a chance to see more of Florida’s natural beauty up close. The Hawk Swamp boardwalk winds through trees growing out of the swampy water below – it was so stunning in the morning light, and very different from any other forest I’ve observed in real life before.
As you make your way into the park, you can take part in a hands-on alligator demonstration. The staff introduce you to a small gator and give a little Q&A session about gator facts; this was the second time on my trip to Florida that an alligator handler said, “If you need to get away from an alligator, run straight or trip the person next to you.” 😉 Contrary to popular myths, running zig-zag won’t help – it was advised that you should try to find a tree to climb. Fortunately, I didn’t have to climb any trees to get away from my new buddy!
But first, let me take a gator selfie:
And the gator fun doesn’t stop there – they also have an area where you can actually feed alligators with pellets!
Here’s a video of me feeding a gator!
I think I crossed off every possible activity with gators on this trip. I held an alligator, sat on an alligator, rode a zip line over alligators, fed an alligator, and, yes, ate an alligator. And before my trip, I said to Jai, “I hope I get to touch a gator when I’m in Florida.” My hopes were exceeded!
But if gators aren’t your thing, maybe you’d like to a feed a lemur instead? Wild Florida offers a special enclosure where patrons can go in small groups to feed and play with lemurs. I sat down on a bench while lemurs darted around and above me, climbing all over the place – our guide recommended leaving cameras behind, as lemurs are very curious and will grab things from you and run away! No way was I going to risk my DSLR with a group of cheeky lemurs. 😉 However, I had my Garmin VIRB with me, which is specifically designed to withstand being bumped and dropped, so I brought that along and got a video of the experience:
These guys have the softest little hands – they’re so light as they hop all over you! Getting to pet and feed a lemur grapes was a fantastic experience and I’m thrilled I got to do it!
I also got to enter an enclosure and stand right next to a sloth – how cool is that?! Kristen Bell would’ve had a nervous breakdown here.
The sloth enclosure was also home to beautiful birds that we got up close and personal with!
Outside, we were looking at photos on Kristy’s phone and laughing when we heard a loud voice start laughing behind us. It was this guy:
We had a fun “Conversation” with this Cockatoo!
Wild Florida is also home to a tortoise exhibit.
Finally, we also saw a Zorse, which is the offspring of a horse and a zebra, and a Zedonk, which is the child of a zebra and a donkey!
Between the airboat ride, the great nature and animal exhibits, and the opportunities to interact and feed so many amazing creatures, Wild Florida was a true treat for me.
For More Information:
Phone: (407) 901-2563
3301 Lake Cypress Road
Kenansville, Florida 34739
Wildlife Park Admission: $18 for adults and $15 for children; admission is included if you purchase an airboat tour ticket. More information on price options available here.