flamingo gardens – part deux

While the first part of my Flamingo Gardens trip was lots of fun, and a lot more interesting than I ever expected, it was the second part of the visit where this sanctuary really impacted me.  The animals….

I mentioned in the previous post that Flamingo Gardens houses animals that may have been injured and as a result can’t be put back into the wild.  In addition to owls and possums (did you see my last post?), they also have a permanent exhibit of two Florida Panthers, two large alligators, a pair of bobcats, several turtles, a black bear, and river otters.

I realize this doesn’t sound like much (it’s no San Diego Zoo), but on the day of my visit, the bobcats were out walking around, the alligators were moving too, the bear was playing with a chew toy, and my personal favorite, the otters were playing like it’s going outta style 😉

This pair of beautiful bobcats, were awake, walking around and much smaller than I expected!  A bobcat’s average weight is between 13-30 lbs, so they’re not “large” cats.

DSC03899.JPGThese guys were the highlight of the visit.  If you’ve ever seen otters playing around, you know why.  They were so active, and SO playful.  Three adults and three pups ran back and forth, tussled above and under water, and played to the audiences’ hearts.DSC03766DSC03771DSC03772A pair of large tortoises fascinated me.  The rings on their shells!!!  DSC03812DSC03813DSC03821.JPGDSC03820Of the two alligators, one was 17′ long!  (That is HUGE folks….HUUUUGGE!)DSC03754DSC03763DSC03895I couldn’t get a good snap of the bear, but he (or she?) was really animated.DSC03829.JPGAfter walking through all the animal exhibits and through the botanical gardens, I went BACK to watch the animals again.  They were just so wonderful!DSC03760DSC03786DSC03887The other attraction I haven’t mentioned yet, is the Wray Museum House.  Floyd and Jane Wray originally purchased this land and developed it into a citrus grove (most of which had to be torn down due to disease).  When they passed away, they left instructions that the place be left as conservation land.  And their heirs have done just that!

The house is decorated in period furniture pieces, and docents walk you through, giving historical tid bits as they go.DSC03709DSC03710DSC03714DSC03720DSC03721If anyone is in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area and has a few hours to enjoy this place, I HIGHLY recommend it.  How can you say no to a place where the mascot is a 7′ high pink flamingo??DSC03911DSC03908DSC03849DSC03846DSC03866DSC03698DSC03879

Looking back through these photos put such a big smile on my face.  This is My Sunny Moment.  I hope you all have a great day!


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