Thursday, November 2, 2023

Florida zoo wins kudos for education, exhibits and its exotic critters

Birds are plentiful at Brevard Zoo, where guests can feed lorikeets and cockatiels. Heron and
other birds native to Florida and other places enjoy the sun in beautifully landscaped grounds.

These handsome longhorns snooze while
Brevard Zoo visitors admire them.They are also
known as Florida Scrub or Florida Native.


Flamingos are a favorite display at Brevard Zoo, where
more than 100 live. Enjoy the video at story's end.


IT BEGAN with a dream, and blossomed into a thriving enterprise attracting more than a half-million visitors last year.

The 75-acre Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, is testimony to what a few determined people can do.

The beautifully designed, nonprofit facility is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 195 species. Zoo residents come from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The zoo has won awards and kudos for its responsible and professional care of its animals. We happened upon some of the critters at feeding time and the passion the staff has for the animals was obvious and fun to see.
Bruce Keller enjoys a kayak
experience, above, and below,
Cookie paddles nearby.

The beautiful zebras at Brevard Zoo are from
Kenya and Ethiopia and can live up to 30 years.

Whales take up residency on Oregon coast
One of the zoo attractions is an area that can be
enjoyed from a kayak, as Cookie shows.

A pair of injured bald eagles were rescued and "rehabbed"
at Brevard Zoo and are living out their lives in protected
environment because they would not survive in the wild.

THERE'S SOMETHING magical about a fine zoo, and Brevard is that. It is the proud result of the work of 16,000 Brevard County residents who came together in the early 1990s to design and construct it. Their efforts make it the largest volunteer built zoo in the world and the locals are justifiably proud.
People pause, chat, notice, point and discuss the animals and birds.  They  learn and grow, appreciating nature and recognizing how precious the non-human inhabitants of our planet are.
Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers
 enjoy the end of a perfect afternoon at Florida's
award winning Brevard Zoo in Melbourne.
Enjoy the flamingo video at left. 
INFO, tickets, special

THE ZOO has also developed a series of remarkable conservation programs, increasing the numbers of many Florida species, supporting international programs and developing training programs and workshops. It is proud of its first-ever breeding season for the country's most endangered bird: the Florida grasshopper sparrow. Bravo, Brevard!
IT WAS FUN to watch children the day we were there. Many came, in organized school outings, to admire the animals, ask questions, feed the birds. The zoo is proud of its long established partnership with Brevard Public Schools.
Through memberships and contributions, the zoo also boosts the region's financial health.
And it is internationally accredited, which means it meets stringent standards in caring for its to giraffes, rhinos, big cats, hundreds of colorful parrots and more. Its well presented interactive experiences include giraffe and bird feedings, a children's water play area and kayaking.
WE THOROUGHLY enjoyed our four hours there, strolling the well marked grounds, taking a kayak trip into the mangroves, pausing for lunch at one of the welcoming picnic areas. 
Most of all, admiring fellow inhabitants of the planet, appreciating  the meticulous care they get here at Brevard Zoo. 


From left,  Bruce Turk, Katie MacNichol, Conner Marx,
   Jacob Bruce, Ciarra Stroud, Christopher M. Williams in
 a masterful take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale.

 --Aaron Rumley photo
BEST BET: A brilliant production of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is held over through Nov. 19 at San Diego's North Coast Repertory Theatre. Six gifted actors are directed with imagination by Shana Wride, in Jeffrey Hatcher's intriguing adaptation of the Stevenson classic. Wride, accomplished on both sides of the footlights, guides a versatile ensemble in a stylish retelling of the story of a good man's struggle with his evil twin. Evocative lighting, a dramatic and minimal set and handsome Victorian top-hats and tails enhance the savvy production, with Bruce Turk and Conner Marx superb as Jekyll and Hyde. Spot-on music, striking costumes and versatile actors shining in multiple roles make this a play-goer's gem. Director Wride and her gifted cast illuminate the story’s good-versus-evil theme in all its complexity. Delightful dialects add to the drama of this well told tale, an interpretation exciting to behold.  

The Grotto in Portland, Oregon, is a sanctuary for many, a
beautifully landscaped retreat conceived by a priest 100 
years ago to fulfill his promise to God if his mother survived.
UP NEXT: A calming, quiet place for meditation and admiration of nature can be visited in Portland, Oregon, where The Grotto attracts our garden loving road trippers.  Developed by a priest in 1923, the beloved Grotto is a sanctuary for Portland residents, and visitors and pilgrims from around the world.  The beautiful creation atop a dramatic bluff includes sculpture, gardens, ponds, pathways and meditation benches, paying tribute to faith and the power of prayer. It is a popular wedding setting and regular mass is held, weather permitting. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, nature, the arts and more. 



  1. Great outreach program at Brevard, teaching conservation to the next generation.

  2. San Antonio RegularsNovember 3, 2023 at 9:39 AM

    This zoo is a national treasure.

  3. We stay a couple days in Melbourne before cruising from the nearby port. Lots of fun stuff to do.

  4. Yes, a great zoo. Kids enjoy the bird feeding. Me, too.