Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens:
The Naples Zoo, Fun for the entire family
You would not expect to find a world class zoo in the heart of Naples, but that is exactly what you get with the Naples Zoo. Amid the charm and sophistication of Naples, you can see the big cats up close, a bay full of gators, tall majestic giraffes, chat with zoo keepers and take a guided boat tour past islands filled with monkeys. You will not want to miss one of the shows in the Safari Canyon Theater where you will get to see the animals up close after a short presentation covering their exhibit and background. Make sure to attend at least one of the Meet the Keepers series where you can learn about the animals in an exhibit and even help feed the giraffes.
The Naples Zoo was opened in September 1969, in what was once the gardens for botanist Dr. Henry Nehrling’s collection of plants that started in 1919. The gardens were neglected after Nehrling’s death, but reopened in 1954 by Julius Fleischmann. Animals were added by Jungle Larry and Safari Jane Tetzlaff and the gardens were reopened as a zoo. In 2001, Naples Zoo achieved the AZA national accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Facing an uncertain future, the citizens of Naples voted overwhelmingly to purchase the Zoo in 2004. Now the future is bright with $25 million in additions and renovations on the drawing board including a state of the art veterinary hospital. Today there are over 30 exhibits featuring both animals and birds.
Toured by over a quarter million guests a year, the Naples Zoo was voted the “Best Place for Kids” by both the Naples Daily News and Gulf Shore Life magazine.
The Naples Zoo is conveniently located at 1590 Goodlette Frank Road just south of Golden Gate Parkway. To find out more and take a virtual tour, visit the Naples Zoo web site.