Jungle Island is taking the Jungle and all its adventures to its South Florida neighbors. While the park remains closed due to Irma, Jungle Island will be making its way through the community as part of its new educational outreach program. The initiative, called Our Animals Miss You, is a way to keep the park’s friendly residents interacting with people while providing educational opportunities to learn about animals and conservation.
The program consists of a presentation of various animals by the park’s trainers and educators, who teach event guests about animal traits, habitats and survival skills in addition to rainforest conservation, and getting all the fun facts about the park. Activities also include painting with parrots, who are Jungle Island’s most famous residents, and hands-on animal interactions. Jungle Island first launched the Our Animals Miss You initiative at the Overtown Youth Center, and has plans to expand the program to other community programs and events. “It was important for us to have a program where we could reach out and bring Jungle Island to the rest of South Florida,” said Dr. Jason Chatfield, vice president of animal care at Jungle Island. “Animals greatly benefit from interacting with our guests and after Hurricane Irma forced the park to close, they miss people visiting them.”
The impact from Hurricane Irma has not stopped the park from bringing its immersive experiences and memorable animal interactions to South Florida, as the park established this outreach program to continue serving the community even after its grand reopening next year. “Part of the park’s mission is to bring guests unique interactive animal experiences, while also promoting the conservation of both the animals and our planet,” said Chatfield. “Since we cannot provide this at the park right now, we want to continue to spread this message through our educational programs.”
With this new program, Jungle Island is providing residents, schools and businesses with the opportunity to experience Jungle Island in their own backyards, and includes catering options through its food and beverage division.