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Park Partners With Zoo On New Exhibits

Big Cypress National Preserve

National Park News

The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens and Big Cypress National Preserve are working together to protect South Florida wildlife with a new exhibit that encourages people to treat alligators, wading birds and other animals with respect for the safety of both the wildlife and the public.

The new exhibit, which will be installed at several popular wildlife viewing spots along the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) within the Preserve, is being funded by the Naples Zoo Conservation Fund with a $15,000 donation to the South Florida National Parks Trust, the nonprofit partner of Big Cypress National Preserve.

The exhibit represents the first project of a new partnership between the Naples Zoo and Big Cypress National Preserve. Additional exhibits are planned for the Naples Zoo and at entrances to popular backcountry trails at Big Cypress. The exhibits will emphasize wildlife conservation and safety.

“We are grateful for the strong partnership with the Naples Zoo and to be working with them for the benefit of South Florida’s wildlife and the safety of the public,” said Pedro Ramos, superintendent for Big Cypress National Preserve.

“These exhibits will encourage people to enjoy the rewards of being in nature while also appreciating the responsibilities we have to protect wildlife,” said Tim Tetzlaff, director of conservation and communications for the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens.

The Tamiami Trail exhibits will urge visitors to keep a safe distance from wildlife and to refrain from disturbing or feeding alligators and other animals. Alligators that are fed pose a danger to the public and may be removed and killed.

“The overall message of the exhibits is wildlife conservation and safety,” said Neil McAliley, chairman of South Florida National Parks Trust.

The first “Living with Florida Wildlife” exhibits, jointly produced by the Naples Zoo and Big Cypress, are scheduled to be installed later this year along the Tamiami Trail.



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