Brevard Zoo continues to help animals around the world


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Perdido Key beach mice disperse seeds inside sand dunes.

Courtesy of the Brevard Zoo

One of the Brevard Zoo’s many success stories is the recent birth of a beautiful baby male giraffe named Sprinkle.

The calf, the 11th born at the zoo and the fifth produced by 16-year-old mom Milenna, is a member of the threatened Masai giraffe subspecies. The species has declined due to habitat loss, poaching and other perils in its African homeland.

By partnering with the Giraffe Conservation Fund, the zoo helps the organization with giraffe research and protection.

Protection of the imperiled giraffe is just one of many conservation projects the zoo participates in. A dedicated conservation department also works to restore oyster populations, translocate vulnerable Florida scrub jays and breed the endangered Perdido Key beach mouse.

“The Perdido Key beach mouse is essential to the integrity of its coastal ecosystem,” Zoo Marketing and Communications Director Andrea Hill said. “The Brevard Zoo has developed a breeding program to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse captive population.”

The zoo also works with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to translocate scrub jays and manage protected scrub habitats.

“With scrub jays and other endangered species, agencies will call us because of our husbandry,” Hill said.  “We know that we have to move the entire family — not just one bird.”

Annual passes are an ideal way for locals to take advantage of the zoo’s setting and watch animals during peak viewing times.  In addition to sustaining the zoo and animals, $5 of each membership supports Brevard Zoo's conservation efforts.

What is your favorite conservation project?

For a chance to vote, just visit the zoo. Upon entry to the zoo, each guest is given a token representing 25 cents. Guests can select their favorite project or organization at the Quarters for Conservation station.  Three projects are featured at a time, with 12 local and global projects a year.

Hill credits the large number of zoo volunteers for their contributions to conservation projects, in addition to a dedicated conservation department.

“As a community zoo, we encourage public involvement in all aspects of our operations,” Hill said. “We are dependent upon and very grateful to our volunteers.”

Hundreds of zoo volunteers, both adults and teens, contribute as many as 70,000 hours of work per year.   

Built with the help of thousands of volunteers and spanning 75 acres, the not-for-profit Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals.  There is always something new happening at the zoo.

So the next time you visit Australia and Beyond or Expedition Africa at the zoo, say hello to Rafiki, a proud giraffe father, feed baby Sprinkle or chat with the monkeys for a while. It’s all part of a plan to help wildlife around the world.

For more information on becoming a zoo volunteer, go to brevardzoo.org/volunteer-programs. To learn more about Brevard Zoo’s conservation efforts, go to brevardzoo.org/conservation-programs.