Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Naples Florida
The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, on 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, is a unique and special attraction. Formerly known as Jungle Larry’s, named after founder Lawrence Tetzlaff (and his wife, who was known professionally as “Safari Jane”), the zoo was built in 1969 on a botanical garden site, which was planted in 1919. In 1925, the historic garden contained more than 3,000 species of tropical plants. Over the years, the plants and trees have matured to the lush habitats where many exotic animals reside. A natural pathway winds around the 52-acre area, encompassing about a mile of trails. Enormous ficus trees provide a sprawling green canopy over the paths, providing shade and enhancing the feeling of being in another country. The trees and plants are labeled like a walking botany lesson. And binoculars are unnecessary for viewing the animal exhibits. Sometimes, they’re just steps away.
The variety of wildlife living in this botanical oasis is remarkable. Residents include African lions, kangaroos, zebras, exotic cats, leopards and American alligators. Many of the animals are endangered, such as the African wild dogs (only seen in 2 percent of American zoos), rare Indochinese tigers (less than 50 in the U.S.) and Florida panthers. The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens has the distinction of being the only zoo in Florida with all four of Africa’s predators: lions, spotted hyenas, leopards and African wild dogs. It’s also credited with being the only zoo in Florida with rare Indochinese tigers.
The lush 44-acre zoo got its start as a botanical garden in 1919 and has since drawn visitors curious to see lions, tigers, bears, leopards, gazelles—and a wildly popular giraffe herd added in 2011. For an extra fee you can feed the gentle, eyelash-batting giants or, in the winter season only, ride aboard dromedary camels. Other exhibits include the cult-favorite honey badgers (only four U.S. zoos have them), whose innocuous-sounding name belies their ferocious ways; a “Snakes Live” show; a pair of endangered Madagascar fossas; a giant ant eater in the South American exhibit; and the “Primate Expedition Cruise” that sails past islands populated with monkeys and lemurs. Youngsters can amuse themselves in three play zones, and there are daily meet-the-keeper times, alligator feedings, and live animal shows. New exhibits added in 2015 include an endangered Florida panther and a 19-foot reticulated python.
Naples Zoo has a wide variety of animals, many of them not native to this part of Florida. One native that has attracted a lot of attention, however, is a Florida panther named “Uno”.
This animal was brought into the zoo for medical attention after it was discovered in bad condition in the wild after having been blinded by a shotgun blast. Uno has been patched up and is in good shape except for his bad eye.
Other animals live happily throughout the zoo in habitats to maximize their freedom and natural habitat. You will see alligators, anteaters, bears, cheetahs, snakes, foxes, frogs, gibbons, gila monsters and a very popular honey badger that the kids love to interact with. The honey badger is behind glass and is one of the toughest little animals in the world, pound for pound.
Giraffe Preview Exhibit
See the new herd of seven giraffe between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. Don’t miss your chance to hand-feed the world’s tallest animal!
One of the fiercest animals in the world. You can only see them here and at only 3 other zoos in America
Black Bear Hammock
The largest black bear exhibit East of the Mississippi.
Disappearing in Plain Sight
Discover what we can do to help the king of beasts.
See the Malayan tiger, the rarest variety of tiger in American zoos. Fosas of
See one of the planet’s rarest creatures. Only zoo in Florida where you’ll see them!
Get within an inch of big cats! Black and spotted leopards perch on the rocks or get nose to nose at the glass.
Get an up close look at America’s large cat at this cooperative exhibit with National Wildlife Federation.
Watch wild butterflies and other native wildlife while learning how to make your home more inviting to songbirds and butterflies.
A lake environment with alligators and other native wildlife including a heron rookery in the spring.
Petrof’s Primate Pavilion
See living lemurs across the channel while learning about the wonders of Madagascar.
From greater kudus and gazelles to porcupines and red river hogs, see a diversity of Africa’s less carnivorous animals.
As a nonprofit institution, no tax is charged on admission. 25 cents of each admission goes to the Naples Zoo Conservation Fund for regional and international conservation.
Adults ages 13 through 64 $19.95
Seniors ages 65 and up $18.95
Children ages 3 through 12 $12.95
Children ages 2 and under Free
Adults with valid military ID enter at child’s price of $12.95 and all others in their party receive $2 off standard admission! Valid up to 6 persons per active or retired military guest. $12.95
Under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. Cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover accepted. Shirt & shoes are required.