Your local mom scoop: 5 reasons why my family loves Jungle Island

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By: Heather McMechan Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
As a mom, I feel like you can only go to the local park so many times and see the same curly tail lizards or squirrels stealing snacks. I’m always looking for fun places in South Florida to take the kids to. When I heard the local scoop about Jungle Island, I yelled, “Road Trip!”
It’s about an hour from where we live in the heart of Miami. I packed some snacks and few sippy cups and we headed down for an all-day adventure.
Here is the scoop on 5 reasons why my family loves Jungle Island.
1.Wearing parrots
When you first enter the park, you get in line to have a photo with these beautiful parrots. You stand in front of a green screen, so the backgrounds can be changed. You can purchase your photos later online by using your Jungle Island photo card.
This guy was whispering sweet nothings in my ear. My kids thought it was hysterical.
2. Feeding the animals
A huge treat was feeding the animals in the Petting Barn area. This African Pygmy Goat was our new best friend after we handed him an ice cream cone snack. These guys are playful animals with a great need for companionship. I think he would have come home with us, if I had let him.
FUN FACT: The African Pygmy is one of four types of dwarf goats from Africa, now domesticated and worldwide.Their diet consist of grasses, twigs and leaves. This is gross but they regurgitate food and chew it again in order to get the most nutrients possible from its highly indigestible cellulose diet. Maybe we humans are missing out on something? But probably not!
3. Bird show
The Bird Show was recommended by guest services as a must see. What a cool show as vultures, parrots and endangered type of birds were flying over our heads and into the hands of the trainers. It was a great learning experience for my kids and something we had never seen before.
4. Hangin’ with the kangaroos
You can get up close and personal with a Red Kangaroo which is the largest marsupial around. No running or yelling inside this area as these guys can take 12 ft. leaps and reach a speed of 30 mph.
5. Playground
Once they saw The Playground, all I could hear was “PLEASE,” as the begging began. Of course, we checked out the slide and the climbing towers along with the rocking bridge.
I wanted to see the White lion which was a rare color mutation of the Kruger subspecies of lion (Panthera leo krugeri).
FUN FACT: “White lions are not albinos. Their white color is caused by a recessive gene known as the chutiya or the ‘color inhibitor gene‘, distinct from the albinism gene. They vary from blonde to near-white. This coloration, however, does not appear to disadvantage their survival in the wild.”
It was a fun-filled day of making a new family memory. Thank you to Jungle Island for inviting us to Miami to experience the wonderful world of animals. You can call and order tickets at 305.400.700.
Jungle Island is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail in Miami, Florida.