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“Save your money!”

Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Ranked #21 of 145 things to do in Sarasota
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Attraction details
Owner description: An Old Florida attraction since 1939, Sarasota Jungle Gardens allows visitors to experience things you won't find anywhere else. Feed free-roaming flamingos, watch parrots ride bicycles, catch lemurs at play, stare down a vulture, or pet a skunk. Be sure to visit the Flamingo Cafe for a refreshing lunch or snack. Enjoy one or more of our acclaimed animal shows. Annual events include Holiday Lights, select nights in December, and Jungle Trails and Bunny Tails, every year on Good Friday.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

It was dirty and unkept. Lots of bad smells, throughout. Reptile Building was so hot, it was difficult to breathe. Creatures' pens were awful and in bad shape. Did not have all the attractions listed on the Brochure; butterfly garden, no birds of prey, skunks, petting zoo. Worst of all, it did not even "feel" like a jungle.
Save your money and go to the Mote (much, much more to see and experience here).

1  Thank Bill R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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599 - 603 of 894 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2014

$15 a person and even though my granddaughter got in for free we paid $45 for 3 of us. We walked the whole area, which wasn't that far and all we saw loose was a white peacock. the animal cages had 1 animal each and smelled like urine.
The flamingos that supposedly "walked around" eating out of your hand were non-existant. There were flamingos but wanted nothing to do with anyone and they all stayed at the water together.
There was hardly anything to see. Save your money here and use it on Busch Gardens which is well worth the trip and money...this was certainly a waste of our money!
I was not happy to throw away $45

2  Thank carolyn56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SarasotaJungleGarden, Manager at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2014

Why good reviews? Please allow me to answer that question. Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a unique family owned and beloved local attraction. It was opened in 1939 as a botanical garden and later evolved into include rescued animals and educational programs for local and worldwide visitors. We offer a less hurried, more up close and often hands on experience for children and adults. It is an oasis in the heart of Sarasota offering tranquility and a clear departure from long lines and manufactured experiences. We exist purely on admission and other small revenue streams and cannot compete with a multi-billion dollar organization such Busch Gardens. Additionally, since we do not receive grants, local, state or federal taxpayer funds, we cannot be compared to a modern zoo that does. Our flock of 26 flamingos are free roaming and are hand fed by guests daily. In fact, the Gardens is one of the very few locations left in the country that allow such an experience.

We are always looking for ways to improve and take comments seriously. We sincerely thank you for your question and your feedback. We apologize that we did not meet your expectations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Went here as a kid and loved it. Now 24 yrs old and took my 3 kids here. It was awful. Some of the exhibits were closed. Their "petting zoo" consisted of 4 goats which you can't go inside to pet, and the kids can reach over the railing. The bird shows are stupid, and the reptile exhibit building smells so incredibly rank! I was gagging in there and had to walk out. The grounds are cute though, like around the flamingo area. But it just definitely wasn't worth the $65 for all 5 of us! So disappointed!

1  Thank Nicole M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SarasotaJungleGarden, Manager at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2014

We are sorry to hear you were disappointed with your visit and the petting zoo. The petting zoo is a new exhibit still being stocked and has not yet been officially opened. The four goats you mention are only the first of the animals planned for that area. There is a very sweet miniature cow (Brutus) that is there now, plus we have approximately 25 very colorful chickens that will be included as well as a large sulcata tortoise. Once officially opened, folks will be allowed to enter the petting zoo area, feed the animals, brush them, pet them and otherwise interact.

Regarding our bird show, it is intended to educate and entertain multi-generational audiences. The show presents performing birds while sharing many facts about different species as well as the stories of how our animals came to live at the Gardens. While we can appreciate your opinion, constructive criticism would be more helpful.

Clearly, the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, will not please everyone. But, we do receive hundreds of good reviews and visitor surveys every year representing folks who have enjoyed themselves. Our caring staff works very hard 363 days a year to keep the park relevant, clean and entertaining.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2014

In these days of Disney parks and the like, it's nice to visit a nice laid-back attraction. Sure, it's dated, but not a bad way to spend 3 hours in a nice garden setting plus animals.
We went with 2 grandkids and they had a great time. Time your visit to take in the shows. Very informative for both you and the younger ones. There is small café....not memorable. This attraction is family owned and it does reflect their religious views in one small area.
It's bit pricey, but I would recommend it for a family with kids.

Thank Canam778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

Took two granddaughters, ages 8 and 3; with their parents. I agree with the negative reviews: a sad, run down place with a few animals and birds. The walkways are pleasant, but I was a bit surprised at the religious displays; presumably reflecting the faith of the owners. The kids got tired of it after less than an hour and we left. Compared to the average modern zoo, this place is simply not worth a visit.

Thank MattS.24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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