New conservation center at Zoo Miami is interactive learning experience

The new conservation center at Zoo Miami's goal is to introduce global and local stories.

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – The new Conservation Action Center at Zoo Miami opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 16, but Local 10 was able to get a sneak peek at the hands-on experience.

Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill said the idea of the center is to introduce one of the “major pillars of the zoo and that’s conservation, but in a fun way.”

There’s plenty to see and do, all with the goal of making it an interactive experience with games like Habitat Whack a Mole and Mating Game. There’s also “What’s the Poop?” where visitors can race to see how fast you can scoop the “poop” into compost bins.

“We want to engage people, especially kids, when they come in here. So, you can come in here and play a variety of games — Interactive games — to try to get involved and understand why it’s so important and what we do every day to conserve wildlife,” Magill said.

Limited reading and lots of visuals, including a life-sized python, is what you’ll find here and all with a lesson on the other side.

“Whether it be everyday things that you can do in your house or whether it be dealing with invasive species that South Florida is, kind of like, iconic for now, or whether it be just understanding the work that’s going on around the world and how it’s connected to us,” explained Magill.

The first 500 visitors into the center on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free gift, according to the Zoo.

About the Authors:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local