Spoiler alert: He is cuteness overload
Let's admit it. We've all been enchanted by those cat or baby video compilations at one point. There's a science to prove it. Watching something cute can give you an instant mood lift, help your brain and supply you with your daily dose of dopamine.
That’s why when I heard the news of the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, welcoming a new sloth, I knew I had to go check it out. On the list of places to check out in Melbourne, this Brevard Zoo was definitely on top, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect as I explore the wildlife and adventure parks in the area.
There's a reason zoos have remained a family favorite for so long. They are the perfect place to educate your children about animals, their habitats, and much more. And when you have a zoo like the Brevard Zoo, it’s not too bad for adults either who are seeking some adventure and wildlife in the Melbourne area.
Melbourne is in the Brevard County of Florida, about 100 kilometers southeast of Orlando. The city was initially known as Crane Creek but was renamed by the community's first-ever postmaster, John Hector, after Melbourne, Australia.
In 1878, the city mainly relied on tourism, cattle raising, and citrus growing in the initial days after it was inhabited. Since then, Melbourne has increased in almost all aspects. However, if there's one thing that hasn't changed is tourism.
Melbourne attracts visitors from all over the county as well as beyond every year. Besides the Brevard Zoo, there's Wickham Park, Lake Washington, Liberty Bell Memorial Museum, and many other places to visit.
History of Brevard Zoo
Brevard Zoo started with a small group of people with a simple idea. They wanted to create a world-leading zoo to display and conserve the natural habitat of the wildlife found around Melbourne and its surrounding areas.
The staff wanted a place where people could relax and witness the magic of these animals and learn about it while they took a break from the fast-paced human-made world outside. A few fundraisers and grants later, the Brevard Zoo opened its doors to the public in 1994.
Since then, the zoo has only grown further as it added new enclosures and introduced new activities. More importantly, it doubled down on its efforts to preserve the natural habitat and educate visitors. More than a quarter-century later, the Brevard Zoo has held on to its mission and vision with the same vigor.
New sloth at Brevard Zoo and other animals you need to see
When you visit Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, you must check out their sloth enclosure before anything else. If you thought adult sloths were the height of cuteness, you would be blown away by the new baby sloth at the zoo.
On April 8, Sammy, 15-year old mother, and Dustin, 18-year old father, welcomed their tiny and most adorable Linnaeus's two-toed baby sloth. The small bundle of joy came after ten months gestation period and is the first baby sloth in the past two years.
He is also only the third ever baby sloth in the history of the zoo. The zookeepers have yet to give him a name or even identify his gender. The mother and child make some public appearances but often retreat to their forest to recover outside of anyone's eye.
YouTube Rib Ticklers Precious Baby Sloth
You can catch a preview of the loving duo here but be warned. It will not be enough, and you will be scheduling a trip to the zoo as soon as possible to see the pair in person. Sloths are known for their slow speeds, which is due to their slow metabolic rates. The sloths sleep around 15 hours a day and spend most of their time crawling or simply hanging on trees.
Besides the sloths, some of the other animals you can see at the zoo include sea turtles, giraffes, giant otters, lorikeets, and many more.
Other activities to do at Brevard Zoo Melbourne
Besides fascinating animals, there’s a lot more to do at the Brevard Zoo as well. You can go kayaking on the Nyami Nyami River and catch glimpses of giraffes, lemurs, and other animals in their natural habitat. You can join a guided tour or opt for a self-guided one. The kayaks are pretty easy to maneuver, and with life jackets, you don't have to worry about safety either.
If the kayak and water are not your things, you can go for the tour on land with the Cape to Cairo Express. This adventure is a fun and fascinating 10-minute train ride as you move between cattle, camels, and exotic antelope. Similarly, there's a lot to be seen at the rainforest enclosure as well.
Many activities like splashing in the lagoon, petting goats and alpacas, and getting close to stingrays and tarpon from the massive aquarium for the young guests specifically.
Prices and times
For non-members, the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne opens at 9.30 am and closes at 5 pm; you need to get there early as the last admission is at 3 pm. Members can get in half an hour early at 9 am. The admission rates for the zoo are as follows:
· Children under three years: Free!
· Children aged 3 to 11 years: $15.95
· Adults 12 years and over: $24.95
· Senior Citizens aged 65 and over: $22.95
The entry fee does not include any of the adventures or activities. You will have to purchase those separately. Moreover, you can also sign up for their membership plans for various features and discounts.
When you’re looking for an authentic wildlife experience or even for your daily dose of all-things-cute, there’s no place better than the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida. The Brevard Zoo has done an excellent job preserving the natural habitat and educating visitors about the different animals housed within the zoo. Check out some of their tips to ensure that your visit goes excellent.