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Fast Facts about Florida and Its Inhabitants

Thinking about taking a vacation to Florida this summer? Perhaps you’ve only really heard about Disney World or the nearly 700 miles of beaches that the Sunshine State is known for. Florida has an abundance of natural sites and activities that can be enjoyed by everyone, but not everyone is aware of some lesser-known facts about the Sunshine State and its inhabitants. Did you know...?

  • Alligators are found throughout Florida, generally where there is freshwater or slow moving rivers. They can also be found in brackish water, and play an important role in the ecology of Florida’s wetlands.

  • The Florida Everglades are the only place in the world where alligators and crocodile co-exist

  • Florida is home to the largest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states.

  • Florida was first seen by the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon on Palm Sunday on April 2, 1513 - he then named the "Pascua de Florida," meaning "Feast of Flowers" and claimed it for Spain.

  • Florida has more than 450 species of birds. Of these, about 175 breed in the state and the rest are migratory, spending their winter months here.

  • Florida was known as the "Lightning Capital of the World" until a study by NASA revealed that Rwanda, Africa had nearly 2 and ½ times more lightning strikes.

  • The Apalachicola River Basin in Florida has the highest species diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the U.S. and Canada, with more than 40 species of amphibians and 80 species of reptiles.

  • Today's Everglades National Park is less than 50% of what existed before the drainage efforts in the 1800s and 1900s.

  • Even though they live in the water, manatees are more closely related to elephants and hyraxes than sea lions and whales.

  • Black bears are the only species of bear found in Florida, and it is estimated that there are between 2,500 and 3,000 black bears in the state.

Come take one of our Orlando air boat tours at Wild Florida to catch a glimpse of the native Florida animals that call our swamp home. Embrace the natural beauty and splendor of Florida’s wildlife with an airboat ride on our 4,200 acre nature preserve. Call 407-957-3135 to book your Orlando air boat tour!