In reference to Sid Kaskey’s May 2 letter to the editor, “Zoo’s not cheap,” where he expresses concern over the costs associated with bringing a family of four to Zoo Miami.
All of us at the zoo share his concern and are constantly doing what we can to cut costs while continuing to provide the best experience possible for our guests.
We think we provide an excellent value when put into perspective alongside similar institutions in Miami-Dade County. Zoo Miami has more than 300 developed acres and is home to more than 2,000 animals in almost 100 major exhibits. It is also a botanical garden.
Zoo Miami is more than 10 times the size of any animal-related attraction in Miami-Dade (the largest zoo in the state), and yet it is the least expensive, with the combined costs for tickets and parking on a weekend for a family of four being more than 40 percent less than the combined average of the other institutions.
Kaskey is a zoo member, which means he has been able to take advantage of one of the best values in Miami-Dade. A Zoo Miami annual family membership costs $139. That membership allows two adults and up to four children in the same household to visit the zoo an unlimited amount of times throughout the year along with additional benefits.
It would pay for itself in just two visits. The other institutions offer similar benefits for local residents. There are tremendous costs associated with operating a facility as large and diversified as Zoo Miami.
I don’t know of any institution that does more with the resources available. It is our hope that when visiting Zoo Miami, guests leave with a greater appreciation for the world’s wildlife and are inspired to protect it for generations to come, knowing that a portion of their admission price goes directly to wildlife conservation.