The Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary opened in 1990 with the Bird of Prey Center, followed by the half-acre Free-flight Aviary featuring the 5 ecological zones of South Florida. One of the first of its kind in the country, the sanctuary gives residence to permanently injured or non-releasable Florida native wildlife.
American Crocodilian Habitat
Walk through our 25,000 square foot Everglades free-flight, housing one of the largest collections of wading birds in America. Here visitors can view over 250 birds representing more than 45 species native to Florida, most of whom are permanently injured and no longer able to live in the wild. The five unique ecosystems of the Florida Everglades are represented through the display of native plants; coast prairie, mangrove swamps, cypress forest, sub-tropical hardwood hammock and sawgrass prairie.
Bird of Prey Center
A showcase of South Florida’s raptors in their naturalistic habitat. At the Center visitors will see a a variety of owls, vultures, hawks, and falcons, as well as Golden and Bald eagles. These birds are either at-risk or endangered and cannot be released because of injuries sustained in the wild. Each year, about 100 chicks are born in the Aviary and Bird of Prey Center, which are raised and then released into the wild to help perpetuate their species.
Black Bear Habitat
Josh the Bear is an easy going 600-pound Black bear, who enjoys being around people. Josh had spent his youth, since he was a bottle-fed cub, working for a wildlife education program where he made appearances at schools, birthday parties and other events until the facility lost their license in 2010. Josh had spent his 14 years in a 20 by 20 foot enclosure- far from ideal for an animal his size. Flamingo Gardens built Josh a new 8,000 sq. ft. habitat with his own pool and bear cave and brought him here to live in 2013.
A highlight of Flamingo Gardens, the lush area showcases Caribbean flamingos amidst their naturalistic environment of tropical vegetation and sparkling waterfalls. Children will delight in feeding the flamingos!
River Otter Habitat
The Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary at Flamingo Gardens has one of the most successful otter breeding programs in the United States. Otters at Flamingo Gardens have produced more than 34 offspring since the program started in 1989. These otters have been released into the wild or sent to other breeding programs at sanctuaries across the U.S. Come see Fast Eddie, Patches, Spanky and our newest addition, Bella, swim and play in their new habitat which opened in 2016.
Panther & Bobcat Habitats
A highlight of the sanctuary, the naturalistic habitats are home to permanently injured or otherwise non-releasable big cats which could not otherwise survive in the wild.
Among birds in the Parrot Aviary located in the arboretum are quaker parrots, sun conures, cockatoos, macaws, and a toucan which have been rescued or adopted by the sanctuary.
A Rookery is a roosting, nesting, or breeding ground for seabirds. Here visitors will see storks, cranes, swans, geese, and other water fowl as well as hundreds of ibis and other free flighted birds which fly in every night to roost or build nests.
Turtle and tortoise exhibits along this walkway include African spur tortoises, alligator snapping turtles, box turtles, as well as freshwater and softshell turtle displays.