Central Florida is one of the world's greatest examples of what happens when rapid development coexists with a wild, often hostile climate and ecosystem. Massive tourist attractions and housing developments run into swamps, lakes, and the remnants of the area's agricultural roots. Because of this combination of the wild and the man made, this area of the country now provides the opportunity to witness an amazing variety of animals in both their natural habitats and in captivity.
Florida is a place where an alligator in the backyard is not a reason for panic, but just a typical afternoon. Birds of all shapes and sizes migrate here during the winter, and many that would seem exotic anywhere else are as common a sight as a mallard duck. In the zoos and theme parks, the near endless summer climate allows for the keeping of a truly stunning menagerie of animals from across the planet.
I plan on highlighting some of the many creatures that can be found in Central Florida. I will provide some pictures, basic information, and where these animals can be found. The natural world often gets lost among all the animatronics and roller coasters, and the real gators are so much better than the robotic ones on The Jungle Cruise.