KENANSVILLE, Fla. — Ever wondered what it would be like to work at a zoo and take care of the exotic animals you usually only see beyond a cage? Well, look no further than Wild Florida's VIP experience, where you can see what it takes to be an animal caretaker.

What You Need To Know

  • VIP package at Wild Florida gives behind-the-scenes look

  • Visitors can see what it's like to be animal caretaker

  • Participants can help prep food and meet some animals 

  • Wild Florida offers a variety of VIP experiences

Each morning, Taylor Manross prepares meals in the small kitchen off the grounds of Wild Florida, cutting and chopping a mixture of fruits and vegetables for the array of exotic animals that call Wild Florida home. 

A behind-the-scenes look at the VIP experience showed that visitors can help prepare food and meet some of the facility’s amazing animals up close — including lemurs, porcupines, and even a mother and baby sloth. 

“You actually get to interact with the animals, and the animals are interacting with you," Manross says. 

One of Manross' favorite tasks is socializing with the cast of furry friends and getting people inside the enclosures to better understand many of the exotic creatures. 

“With these experiences, it really makes it personal,” Manross says. “… So to be able to get up close, eye to eye with these animals, it opens you up to the animals of the wild … And it shows how we need to protect and keep them for the next generation.” 

Protecting and preserving the animals each day and teaching the youth of tomorrow a bit about the life of an animal caretaker are part of what she does each day. 

“It's not a job,” Manross said. “It's a love!"

Wild Florida offers a variety of different experiences. The animal caretaker behind-the-scenes program is part of the company’s VIP package and will also get participants access to the park’s animal park and airboat tours.