When you bring your students on a field trip to Wild Florida, there is a TON they are going to see and experience. It's a hands-on day of learning for everyone involved!
Our attraction isn't like all those other Central Florida attractions when it comes to tying in the curriculum that will be covered while here. It's easy to prove to your administrators or anyone else who may be asking, "how does this field trip tie into what you've been teaching?"
So, what exactly will your students learn on a field at Wild Florida? Here's a rundown of just a few of the facts they'll learn, and really, every day is different out here, so they could learn all of these, or a hundred other things! It depends on the day!
These facts actually somewhat follow the order of the exhibits you'll see when visiting our Gator and Wildlife Park, with a few bonus airboat/Everglade-related facts thrown in at the end!
- As one of the world’s oldest domesticated animals, goats were brought to North America by Spanish explorers. Goats like to jump and play and have been known to jump as high as five feet! You'll see these guys in our Petting Zoo.
- The wood duck is a colorful species of perching duck found in North America, these types of ducks are known for perching in high trees. They actually have strong claws that can grip the bark of these tree branches. We have a huge custom-built duck pond where you can see these ducks and several others.
- Gold and silver pheasants call our walk-in bird aviary home. The gold pheasant is native to China and the silver pheasant is found mostly in Southeast Asia. (Did you know? Golden pheasant feathers are prized for use in fly-fishing lures.)
- Bonecrusher is the second largest alligator in our Gator and Wildlife Park. He's a 14-foot alligator that lives in our alligator pond. This summer he is moving into very own bachelor pad, newly built just for him near the Petting Zoo.
- When you take a walk through Hawk Swamp you'll see tons of native foliage, such as cattails, arrowheads, and pickerelweed. Pickerelweed is an aquatic plant that grows three to four inches tall, but you usually only see one or two feet because the rest is underwater.
- Skinks are lizard-like animals and a gardener's best friend because their diet consists of pests found among plants. Interestingly, about half of the skinks in the entire population lay eggs, and the other half give birth to their young. You can spot a skink at our Exotic Animal Show!
- The red fox is a nocturnal mammal and is the largest kind of fox. You may not know this, but they eat small rodents, and sometimes fruits and vegetables, making them omnivores.
- Raccoons, known by many as pests, are also omnivores and live anywhere there are trees and food. They are often found near campgrounds or in the trash cans in your very own neighborhood.
- Typically weighing between 13 and 30 pounds, bobcats are known to target their prey (mostly rabbit and hare) with precision accuracy. They can run fast, climb trees, and are even great swimmers.
- The Osceola Turkey gets its name from the famous Seminole Indian, Chief Osceola. It is the smallest and one of the most challenging subspecies of turkey to hunt.
- A zorse, of course, is the result of cross-breeding a zebra with a horse to produce an animal that looks more like a horse than a zebra, but with the very distinct stripes of a zebra.
- After learning about a zorse, you probably can guess that a zdonk is the cross-breeding of a zebra and a donkey. Both a zorse and a zdonk can also be referred to as zebroids.
- While these cattle may look like they come from Texas because of their long horns, Watusi have been seen in pictographs in Egyptian pyramids. It is because of that association that they are often referred to as the "cattle of kings"!
- While most of the time you'll see peacocks just randomly strolling through our park, peacocks can actually fly. While it's only for brief periods (mostly due to their weight and size), they can fly long enough to possibly avoid predators.
- Other birds can be seen flying around, or perching on various branches of our Gator and Widlife Park. The parrot is one of the best-known, colorful birds you'll spot in our park. (Did you know? Some parrot species can live for over 80 years!)
- Found in the southern part of Madagascar, ring-tailed lemurs are highly social creatures, and often live in groups averaging 17 members when in the wild.
- Red ruffed lemurs are the largest of their species and are not often spotted in the wild because they are known to remain in tall trees, rarely coming down to the ground.
- The two-toed sloths that call Wild Florida home are medium-sized mammals native to the jungles of South and Central America. They resemble monkeys, although they're more closely related to the anteater.
- Australian Wallabies resemble their marsupial counterpart, the kangaroo, and have a ton of names! Young wallabies are known as "joeys", like many other marsupials. Adult male wallabies are referred to as "bucks", "boomers", or "jacks". An adult female wallaby is known as a "doe", "flyer", or "jill". And a group of wallabies is called a "court", "mob", or "troupe"!
- Florida swamps and wetlands provide the perfect breeding ground for the Burmese python to thrive outside captivity. This invasive species is now considered the “snake that’s eating the Everglades".
- You probably first saw this monkey in the movie Night at the Museum... The cotton-top tamarin weighs less than a pound and a half. Being one of the smallest primates, the cotton-top tamarin has an easily recognizable feature with its long white crest extending from its forehead to its shoulders.
- The largest porcupine in the world, the African Porcupine, can sound like a snake when it moves. When the animal walks, it shakes its quills, which in turn make a rattle-like sound.
- Servals are sometimes mistaken for small leopards or cheetahs. In proportion to the rest of their body, they have the longest legs of any cat.
- An airboat floats on top of the water, and since the propeller is located above the water line, airboats are perfectly safe for the wildlife and vegetation in the water... Which makes it the perfect way to take an eco-friendly tour of the Florida Everglades.
- A bald eagle is a common sight when taking an airboat ride through the Florida Everglades, something you can do at Wild Florida. These eagles are our national bird, and Florida is lucky enough to host a large population of this majestic animal, with over 1,000 nesting territories in our state.
- The Florida Everglades contains the largest continuous strand of sawgrass prairie in North America. It's not exactly like Little House on the Prairie, but this sawgrass prairie and marshland is an important part of the ecosystem of the everglades.
Think we meet your match when it comes to your curriculum and all the things you are required to teach your students? Then you're ready for a field trip at Wild Florida now!