Jungle Island visitor gets up close to a friendly chimpanzee.
Jungle Island visitor gets up close to a friendly chimpanzee.

Remember that movie with Robin Williams in it, Jumanji? Stampedes of wild animals came thundering out of a board game and into the suburbs. Well, Jungle Island is sort of similar. And although in this case it may require a train, plane or automobile to get to the wild animals, thankfully they won’t tear through your lounge room.

Families with boisterous kids should visit this place, prime real estate for a fun day out. Jungle Island is located on an 18.6-acre parkland between Miami and South Beach in Florida, where a colorful and noisy menagerie of 3,000 animals await along with 500 species of plants.

Meet a Liger
Between the giant fern fronds lurks a wild beast unlike any other: a rare 900-pound liger. Vulcan was the result of an accident in captivity, but not the mad scientist kind: a male lion and a female tiger mated and created him. But as lions and tigers don’t share the same environment in the wild, this sort of thing would never happen outside of a zoo. As a result of his strange genetic composition, Vulcan grew to become the biggest known living cat on earth, standing at 11 feet tall and weighing 900 pounds. He’s listed in the Guinness Book of Records, so bet the next round on that!

The Tree Top Ballroom
Get cozy in amongst the foliage like our ancient forebears would have done, with a tree-top ballroom that plays hosts to glitzy galas, weddings, birthday parties and any other function. While swinging amongst the limbs of verdant leaves, there is also a superb view of the Miami skyline.

Apple Loving Orangutans
Throw them a juicy piece of fruit and they may throw back again – but an iPad will be hugged to their orange hairy chests with glee. It seems, in fact, that Apple have neglected one of their ‘core’ audiences here! Peanut and Pumpkin, 8-year-old twins, love to doodle around with the iPad: they use them to signal the message for eye, ear, nose and mouth, to tell their caregivers where is causing them bother or pain, and get medical attention. It just demonstrates how wise and special these apes are. These orange and hairy cuties are as individual as any human family, with their own personalities and strange behaviors.

A trip to Jungle Island in Florida can be a great family day out and lead to loads of photo ops and a swag of memories. This shady, cool sanctuary is the perfect antidote to the blazing Miami sun.

Trip Planning Details for a Jungle Adventure

Formerly Parrot Jungle remembered by grandparents, this new Jungle Island (305/400-7000) is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132 and has added its own small waterpark as well. Check for seasonal hours and special rates at Jungle Island.
 
 
Photo courtesy of JungleIsland.com

 

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This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.