Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida

The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is a small zoo located in Jupiter, Florida. The sanctuary exists to take in and rehabilitate Florida wildlife that has been injured or abused. Some animals are returned to nature. Those that can't survive on their own anymore are permanent residents. The collection is not very big but is fairly diverse. It's a fun place to visit.

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

After passing through the gift shop entrance, the first thing we smelled was the first thing we saw--a skunk! Happily the skunk did not give us a take-home sample of his odiferous powers.

Eastern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius)

More scary but more safely secured were the snakes on display.

A rattler

Copperhead snake

The sign says the copperhead is a pit viper, meaning it is poisonous and has a special pit between its eye and nostril that detects temperature. It can find warm-blooded creatures using the pit. They hang out near swamps and streams and feed on mice, birds, and frogs.

Our next visit was to the panther cages. We visited in mid-morning, so most of the cats were relaxing or perhaps sleepy. One was up and patrolling around the edge of the cages. We weren't sure if the panther was looking for a way out. I bet we looked like tasty snacks to him (or her)!

Off-duty panther

Patrolling the perimeter

Still patrolling

Another panther warming up for patrol duty

Marking territory, we think

Just beyond the panthers is a large pond that serves as an alligator reserve. We didn't see any and didn't look too hard, either!

Alligator reserve

Some scrawny foxes were mixing it up in their pen.

Local foxes

The bird section was next. We saw a good variety of birds, from barn owls and bald eagles to ducks and turkeys.

Barn owls napping

Bald eagles, as seen through a fence crack

Water fowl and such


A free bird!

The sanctuary does have two neighboring waterholes where an alligator and a crocodile live side by side.

Bathing alligator

Crocodile cozying up with a turtle (poor turtle!)

We also saw some river otters and some deer.

River otters sans river

A small deer sticks its tongue out!

Back at the entrance we gave a donation (the park is free but donations are welcome) and met up with another panther who was more photo-friendly.

Making friends with the wild life

A quick ride

A fun farewell!

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