Miami, FL (PRWEB) January 12, 2009
South Florida has recently been buzzing with the sights and sounds of the Central and South American Tropics. Miami Metro Zoo, home to over a thousand animals from around the world, has expanded to include a new tropical America exhibit called Amazon and Beyond. With the help of several talented firms, including COST of Wisconsin, Inc., the $50 million exhibit was transformed into a lush and tropical oasis showcasing over 600 animals indigenous to the tropic region including giant river otters, jaguars, harpy eagles, Orinoco crocodiles, and anacondas. The exhibit features three unique areas surrounding the exhibit's point of entry, Fiesta Plaza. Each area allows visitors the opportunity to experience a different ecosystem within the complex tropical rainforest including the Cloud Forest, Amazon Forest and Atlantic Forest.
As zoo guests enter Amazon and Beyond they are instantly transported into the wild tropics of Central and South America. Children have the opportunity to play on folk-art-inspired animal sculptures at Parade of Life, splash in the Fiesta Children's Fountain, or watch the street theater performance of Quetzal's World. The plaza also allows its' guests the option to grab a quick snack or browse through the gift shop before branching out to explore the three extraordinary regions of Amazon and Beyond.
The Cloud Forest, a cool, high-grounded area masked in moisture, mist and mystery is home to prowling, slithering and flying creatures. This area features brilliantly hued hummingbirds, butterflies, Howler monkeys, swift squirrel monkeys, venomous eyelash vipers, giant millipedes, Mexican red-legged tarantulas, deadly fer-de-lance, colorful poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, and prowling jaguars. Patrons are amazed at how these mystifying creatures seamlessly blend into their natural surroundings.
Designed to depict the world's oldest rainforest, the Amazon Forest allows adventurers the opportunity to experience both the dry and wet seasons of this fascinating region. Every year, the Amazon's rivers and streams overflow their banks rising up to 40 feet in depth, creating the largest area of flooded forests on the earth. These rivers and flooded forests provide an unusual home to numerous animals, including giant pacu, stingrays, green anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles, harpy eagles, and keel-billed toucans.
The Atlantic Forest is still considered to be one of the most biologically rich and diverse forests in the world, even though less than 10% of this land exists today. In the Atlantic Forest, visitors will have the opportunity to view fascinating animals, unique to this rare region of the world. These interesting animals range from the very small to quite large, including golden lion tamarins barely thirteen inches tall and giant river otters that can grow to six feet tall.
Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department, Miami Metrozoo and the Zoological Society of Florida embarked on this exciting journey of a project several years ago. According to zoo officials, Amazon and Beyond is larger than the average American zoo. The exhibit is situated on approximately 27-acres of land making it the largest exhibit of Tropical America flora and fauna in the United States and possibly in the world. Designed by Seattle-based architects, Jones & Jones, Amazon and Beyond features cutting-edge exhibits fully immersing visitors in the experience of the tropics. With the help of Lyons/Zaremba Inc., a Boston based exhibit planning and design firm, PCL Construction Services and exhibit fabricator, COST of Wisconsin, Inc., the unoccupied land was transformed into a lush and tropical oasis for its guests and inhabitants. Miami Metrozoo Zoo Director Eric Stephens notes "Our staff is very excited about the opening of Amazon & Beyond as the complex moves the entire zoo forward in its exhibitory standards. The exhibits, the surroundings, even portions of the back of house areas are first class and will set the bar high for our future designs. COST of Wisconsin has been a valued member of the team in the creation of these [exhibit] spaces." Amazon and Beyond opened its doors to the public in December of 2008. Amazon and Beyond represents the second phase of the Zoo's twenty year $350 million master plan.
For additional information on zoological exhibit fabrication, visit WWW.COSTOFWISCONSIN.COM or contact Cherie Francoeur at 407-816-2110 EXT. 2100