Teacher Resources

New in the Education Department

Program Spotlight

We have a new seasonal exhibition that is going to be incredibly impactful for you and your students! Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea will be here from November 17, 2018 through April 21, 2019. Made entirely of plastic debris collected from beaches, the 11 colorful and dramatic sculptures of marine animals represent the more than 315 billion pounds of plastic in oceans today and underscore the need for wildlife conservation. We have created two Field Trip Experience programs, standards-based programs for you and your students while at Naples Zoo, based on this exhibition. The programs are:

Beach Buddies (Kindergarten - 2nd) – Starts December 1, 2018
In this engaging program, Naples Zoo is bringing the beach to our classroom! Through sorting activities and water demonstrations, we will learn how trash and plastics travel through the environment, and end up in the ocean. Investigations will lead students to discover how plastics and other trash affect an animal’s ability to acquire their basic needs to survive.
Trash Likes to Move it, Move it
(3rd- 5th) – Starts January 3, 2019
How does so much trash end up in an animal’s stomach? Through hands-on activities and water demonstrations, students will explore how plastics end up in the ocean. Then we will dive deeper to explore the effects of plastics on animals as we conduct mock animal dissections.

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Fauna Facts

Here are some facts about the animals at Naples Zoo that you can share with your students! This month, we're highlighting the animals that are native to the U.S.!

Most South Floridians are familiar with the Florida panther, but did you know that it is our state mammal?

Our population in Florida is the only population of pumas (also known as cougars and mountain lions) left in the eastern United States. Come see our local celebrity, Athena, at the zoo!

Despite their name, the American black bear has been observed in more colors than just black!  Depending on where you are in the country, you may find them in white, blonde, cinnamon, different shades of brown, and even bluish-gray. You can visit Anna and Toby, our traditionally black bears, at Naples Zoo!


The gopher tortoise is the only tortoise in the eastern United States and is what’s known as a keystone species. A keystone species is a plant or animal upon which the survival of other species is dependent. The burrows dug by gopher tortoises provide shelter for at least 360 different species! Bert and Herold are the pair of gopher tortoise boys you can see at Naples Zoo.


What’s a better American comeback story than the American alligator? Reaching its lowest numbers in the 1950s due to overhunting and pollution, the American alligator was a flagship species of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Through a number of conservation efforts, the alligator population was fully recovered by 1987. Alligator Bay at Naples Zoo is home to 13 American alligators, each with their own name (yes, they know them!) and personality.



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