A vacation to the Bahamas is already a great way to warm hearts, but another is to visit and see the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center and participate in a good cause while on a Bahamas vacation. The Ardastra Gardens and Zoo is the perfect place to take a break from the beach scene, and educate the whole family. With interactions with the live animals that call this place home, this is one of the many great places to see.
The Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center was officially opened in the 1950’s as a nature preserve. It was the creation of a famous Jamaican horticulturist, Hedley Vivian Edwards in 1937 and grew into a conservation center when the Bahamian government brought flamingoes for a breeding program. The flamingoes were becoming rare at the time, and the Bahamian government wanted to ensure the birds’ species future for years to come on the island. The gardens were brought in and created in 1982 as another attraction for visitors to enjoy.
Today, the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center has become the sanctuary to many species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. One of the most important jobs this is to try and help animals, whose species may be on the brink of endangerment or extinction. For example, recently the Ardastra Conservation Center nominated the Bahamian Boa Constrictor for their Animal of the Month. They have 3 of them at the zoo, and are trying to raise awareness about these important link in the Bahamas’ ecosystem, before it’s too late. They are facing endangerment due to Bahamian folklore, causing the locals to be so fearful, they kill them, as well as losing natural habitat, and being caught and traded for the pet market.
The Ardastra Zoo has peacocks, Lory Parrots, Caribbean Flamingoes, Jaguars, domestic rabbits, Madagascar Lemurs, igunanas, snakes, and tortoises on display for the whole family to learn about. The zoo is famous for having a Marching of the Flamingoes, with shows 3 times a day.
All the while having a great time with friends and family on a day at the zoo, visitors will have peace of mind that any and all donations go directly to the care, happiness, and conservation of all the animals within it’s captivity. It really is a win-win situation, and one of the many things to do in the Bahamas!