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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hardee County Wildlife Refuge, Zolfo Springs, Florida

While we stayed at Peace River Thousand Trails we took a little field trip a few minutes away with a couple other families to explore the Hardee County Wildlife Refuge.

It is located at 650 Animal Way, Zolfo Springs, Florida. Hours are 10am-4pm daily but closed on Mondays and Wed. Admission was $4 teens to adults, $2 age 5-12 and under 5 were free.
It was a small little park but we had a lot of fun learning about all the local animals that lived here. For the very affordable entrance fee you get your moneys worth and you help a worthy cause. My girls made a donation as well. Every animal here was brought here because they had no chance of surviving in the wild again by themselves. Each cage is set up as naturally as possible to replicate their original habitats.

The whole refuge is built with a walkway above the habitats so you can look down into them.
Everyone looking in at the cougars
Cougar relaxing in the shade
Aayla looking at all the cougar info
A soft shell turtle
A raccoon enjoying the lazy day in a hammock
Vulture. there were many of them and not all of them
were residents
A sleepy bear
Discussing some of the animal species here
Searching for the bobcat
The largest alligators I have ever seen! The picture really
does not show his size. He was HUGE!
Deer
Night Heron (he was probably wild)

Tortoise

Our own WILD gang

We went during Pioneer Days and it was a bit crazy to get to but we made it. Some of us had to sneak by the guard while others had to get a police escort as the guard collecting fees for parking for the Pioneer Days thought the wildlife refuge was closed and we were sneaking into the park. I'm sure on a normal day you wouldn't have the issue we had, but we came away with a story to remember forever.
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