Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Naples Zoo’s Caribbean Wonder Garden on Thursday, December 12 from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

Hosted by the Urban Land Institute, guest speaker Ellie Krier will share insights into the zoo’s transition from a private garden to a nationally accredited zoo and its future development plans.

giraffes at Naples Zoo

Word on the street is that the Naples Zoo could soon undergo a major transformation. The highlight will be its brand new entrance, because as it is now, many say it’s easy to drive by and not know there’s 44 acres of animal attractions and exhibits in the heart of Naples.

The expansion will also include fresh attractions and the addition of a 9,000-square-foot education center that could provide all-around environmental education.

Now it’s just a matter of raising the funds. Around $20 million is needed. To donate, call Jack Mulvana at the Naples Zoo at 239-262-5409.

For those that attend the December 8 behind-the-scenes look, following the presentation, guests will embark on a walking tour of the facility.

Admission is $25 for members, $35 for non-members, $20 for Young Leader members, $30 for Young Leader non-members, $15 for student members and $25 for student non-members. Registration is available at

And, since we’re talking about the Zoo, did you know that as a Collier County resident you get in free to the Naples Zoo the first Saturday of every month? Just bring your I.D.