Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary

Opened in 1990, the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary at Flamingo Gardens was one of the first of its kind in the country giving residence to permanently injured or non-releasable Florida native wildlife. Today it has the distinction of being the largest collection of Florida native wildlife in the State, with over 83 native species including alligators, bobcats, panthers, otters, eagles, peacocks and, of course flamingos. 

Josh the Bear is now here! Join us for the Grand Opening of the new American Black Bear Habitat on September 21, 2013 starting at 10:00am. Read more about Josh

Walk through our 25,000 square foot Everglades free-flight facility,
housing one of the largest collections of wading birds in America with over 250 birds representing more than 45 species native to Florida. The five unique ecosystems of the Florida Everglades are represented through the display of native plants; 
coastal prairie, mangrove swamp, cypress forest, subtropical hardwood hammock, and sawgrass prairie. 


A showcase of South Florida’s Raptors in their naturalistic habitat. These birds are either at-risk or endangered and cannot be released because of injuries sustained in the wild. At the Center visitors will see a variety of owls, vultures, hawks, falcons as well as Golden and Bald eagles.

A highlight of Flamingo Gardens, the lush area showcases Caribbean Flamingos amidst their naturalistic environment of tropical vegetation and sparkling waterfalls. Children will delight in feeding the Flamingos!

Among birds in the Parrot Aviary located in the entry courtyard are an African Grey, White Eyed Conures, Cockatoos, and Macaws which have been rescued or adopted by the sanctuary.

A highlight of the sanctuary, the naturalistic habitats are home to permanently injured big cats which could not survive in the wild. 

The Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary at Flamingo Gardens has one of the most successful otter breeding programs in the United States. Otters at Flamingo Gardens have produced over 32 offspring since the program started in 1989. These otters have been released into the wild or sent to other breeding programs at sanctuaries across the US. Come see Fast Eddie, Patches, Spanky and our newest addition, Bella, swim and play while they wait for their new habitat to Open in 2013. Read more about the new Otter Habitat...

No visit to Flamingo Gardens is complete without viewing Florida’s native alligators. Did you know that Sonny Crocket's pet alligator "Elvis" on the television show Miami Vice was from Falmingo Gardens? The original Elvis has since passed, but the name lives on with Elvis the 3rd and Priscilla, our current gators in residence.

The big pond features storks, cranes, swans, geese and other water fowl as well as hundreds of Ibis alongside the turtle and tortoise exhibits which feature African Spur tortoises, Alligator Snapping turtle, as well as Box turtles and Slider turtle displays.

Bella, one of our North American River Otters, gave birth to two baby otters in January of 2015.  
Baby otters are called puppies. Bella and her two pups are part of one of the most successful otter breeding programs in the world! Otters at Flamingo Gardens have now produced 34 offspring since the program started in 1989. Over half of these offspring have been released into the wild to help re-establish River otter populations in Florida; the others have gone to other breeding programs in sanctuaries across the country.

Bella is slowly introducing her pups to the public and other otters. Viewing of the pups is infrequent, but the best time to see them is in the afternoons around 2pm just prior to otter feeding time at 2:30pm.

Here is a video of Bella teaching one of the pups to swim:

Bella and her two pups, along with Spanky and Fast Eddie, the two adult males, are looking forward to their new habitat being built at Flamingo Gardens. You can read about it here.
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