How Central Florida Zoo is keeping animals safe amid frigid weather
SANFORD, Fla. — Central Florida Zoo is moving some of its animals inside as frigid weather approaches. The big cats like the cold weather, and many of the animals will be on display Saturday despite the cold temperatures. READ: Tips to keep your furry friends safe from the cold this winterHowever, zoo officials said it’s possible the animals may stay inside instead of venturing out into the cold. Zoo officials want visitors to be patient through the cold snap. A list detailing which animals they will see, may see and won’t see due to the weather will be listed at the ticket window.wftv.com
Central Florida Zoo reopens after suffering damage, flooding from Hurricane Ian
SANFORD, Fla. — The Central Florida Zoo has reopened nearly a month after closing for Hurricane Ian. Watch: Health officials warn of increase in flesh-eating bacteria cases following IanZoo officials have estimated the zoo lost more than $17,000 each day it was closed. Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 15 Central Florida Zoo unveils new habitat for tortoisesLauren Edwards and her 2-year-old daughter Amelia were the first to show up at the zoo when it reopened. Read: Hurricane Ian’s damage to Florida agriculture as high as $1.8 billionIan caused extensive damage around the zoo grounds and water flooded the entrance. The zoo launched a hurricane relief fund to help make up for lost revenue.wftv.com
Central Florida Zoo to reopen weeks after Hurricane Ian flooding forced closure
SANFORD, Fla. — Nearly a month after Hurricane Ian forced its closure, the Central Florida Zoo is set to reopen on Wednesday. Historic flooding has plagued the area since Ian, with the water flooding the entrance to the zoo. Read: Over $1 billion in federal funding put towards Hurricane Ian recoveryOfficials said the zoo closed on Sept. 28 to prepare for Hurricane Ian and remained closed afterward for cleanup. Zoo officials worked throughout the closure to help the attraction weather being closed to the public. More information on how to donate to help the Central Florida Zoo with recovery efforts can be found here.wftv.com
Central Florida Zoo unveils new habitat for tortoises
SANFORD, Fla. — Tortoises at the Central Florida Zoo are now living in their own little paradise. The zoo unveiled a new living space for the radiated tortoises this week. Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 15 Central Florida Zoo unveils new habitat for tortoisesThe four special reptiles now have access to a peaceful landscape that includes a babbling brook and cypress stumps. Read: SeaWorld Orlando wants your help to name this baby dolphin“The tortoises couldn’t all share the same space at once, so now we have this giant water feature with a large waiting area for the tortoises so all four of them can enjoy the water at the same time,” said Christopher Torge, director of animal operations at Central Florida Zoo. Read: ‘Right place, right time’: Orlando officer honored for saving infant’s lifeLocal nurseries and pond builders from across Seminole County worked together to build the new habitat.wftv.com
Central Florida Zoo’s radiated tortoises return to renovated habitat
SANFORD, Fla. — The Central Florida Zoo’s radiated tortoises moved into their majorly updated habitat on Wednesday. The tortoises now have waterfront property with a babbling brook and luscious landscaping. Last week, zoo officials said local nurseries and pond builders from across the county worked together to pull together the new habitat for the radiated tortoises. According to the zoo, radiated tortoises, which are native to southern Madagascar, are extremely vulnerable to habitat loss as suitable habitat continues to be converted to other uses, such as charcoal production. Photos: Central Florida Zoo’s radiated tortoises return to renovated habitatExpand Autoplay Image 1 of 7 Central Florida Zoo unveils new habitat for radiated tortoises Central Florida Zoo’s radiated tortoises returned to their new home on Wednesday.wftv.com
SunRail, Central Florida Zoo announce return of “Choo-Choo to the Zoo” for summer 2022
SunRail, Central Florida Zoo announce return of "Choo-Choo to the Zoo" for summer 2022 (WFTV)SANFORD, Fla. — Just in time for summer, Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and SunRail announced the return of “Choo-Choo to the Zoo” for 2022. Starting June 6, visitors can ride SunRail to the Sanford station where they can hop aboard a free shuttle to and from the zoo. #RideSunRail to the Sanford Station and climb aboard the FREE trolley that will take you to the @CentralFLZoo. pic.twitter.com/qbUUnd6V0I — SunRail (@RideSunRail) June 6, 2022Along with the trolley service, visitors will also get a 20% discount on zoo admission. Read: SeaWorld announces 7th roller coaster, opening in 2023Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens CEO Richard Glover said the service is perfect for families who want to visit the zoo without having to drive.wftv.com
9 things to do this weekend: Brews Around the Zoo, Florida Film Festival and more
9 things to do this weekend (WFTV.com News Staff)ORLANDO, Fla. — Looking for something to do this weekend? Central Florida Zoo’s popular “Brews Around the Zoo” fundraiser will return Saturday. Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 3 Brews Around the Zoo in Sanford (Central Florida Zoo)The Florida Film Festival begins this weekend at the Enzian Theater. READ: Full Sail University to return as primary sponsor of the 31st Annual Florida Film FestivalTo learn more about the festival, click here. To learn more about the event, click here.wftv.com
Free Florida reading program celebrates 100K enrolled students
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Kids across Central Florida are falling in love with reading and a statewide program is helping them out. The New Worlds Reading Initiative held a celebration at the Central Florida Zoo to mark 100,000 enrolled students. The program sends free books to Florida students in kindergarten through fifth grade who are not reading on grade level. Participating students will receive one free book per month during the school year, up to nine books. READ: Meet the 2022 Cadbury ‘bunny’: Therapy dog Annie Rose from OhioFor more information about the program, click here.wftv.com
Investigation underway at Central Florida Zoo over insurance contract
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — An investigation is underway at the Central Florida Zoo over whether an insurance contract was properly awarded by the zoo board. A task force was set up immediately to look at updating the board policy regarding conflicts of interest regarding awarding contracts at the Central Florida Zoo. To insure the Central Florida Zoo, it costs about $300,000 a year, a significant amount of money that comes from their $5 million budget. READ: Joel Greenberg to pay Seminole County almost $2M in restitution, attorney saysHowever, the zoo board decided to cut its insurance to save money. “With another well-known insurance agency here in town, the switch was made, it was supported by the board,” said Bob Morrison, vice president of the Central Florida Zoo board.wftv.com
Seminole County commissioners approve funds for Central Florida Zoo
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved thousands of dollars in tourist development tax money for funding and maintenance of the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. | Shaq’s mansion discounted by $3M]The attraction has been struggling ever since the pandemic began, which led to low attendance and a loss in revenue. During the summer, zoo officials applied for Emergency Operating Funds and applied for an additional $300,000 to recover the money they lost during the shutdown. Zoo CEO Dino Ferri says the facility started its There Is No Zoo Without You fundraising campaign to help keep operations afloat. Our efforts today will ensure the Zoo will be enjoyed by all for years to come," he said in a news release.
Theres no zoo without you; Central Florida Zoo hopes animal lovers return soon
Zoo CEO Dino Ferri said the zoo has likely lost out on millions of dollars in revenue from cancelled events. Despite having a good turnout over Labor Day weekend, the impact of COVID-19 continues to loom over the zoo. Currently, the zoo can only operate at 50% capacity -- thats about one thousand people inside the park at one time. To increase traction to the zoo, the campaign Theres No Zoo Without You was launched. As Central Florida deals with the effects of the pandemic, cities like Sanford are coming up with different ways to get business back on track.
Theres no zoo without you: Central Florida Zoo works to combat $1.5M in financial losses due to COVID-19
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden launched a sustainability campaign Tuesday aimed at recovering from an economic blow to its revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The attraction said its suffered a loss of $1.5 million in its two-month closure meant to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In its public plea for support, the zoo is calling upon the community to help it survive the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. The Central Florida Zoo reports March and April as historically the busiest months for attendance. Though it reopened to the public in May, zoo officials say it needs to bridge the gap in its financial losses.
Heres what you can expect as the Central Florida Zoo enters phase 2 of reopening
SANFORD, Fla. The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens announced it would be entering phase two of its reopening process alongside most of the state under Gov. The zoo initially closed March 14 as much of Central Florida scrambled to protect the health of guests at local attractions as COVID-19 quickly spread through the region. The zoo then entered its phase one of reopening on May 13. Based on current state guidelines, the zoos limited indoor venues will begin opening this week with capacity limits of 50% being monitored. Officials said the zoo will continue to offer a special hour on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. where vulnerable guests may visit the park with additional accommodations.