Chris and Nancy Lavick are the owners of Sarasota Jungle Gardens. They were forced to close in late March because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The park has been in business for 80 years. Their financial status is grim, and they need help so they set up a Go Fund Me account on April 6, 2020. Here is the information on their page written by Nancy Lavick.
From Nancy Lavick
As a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and State, Federal and Local guidelines, we remain closed until further notice. For more than 80 years, Sarasota Jungle Gardens proudly maintained the status as one of the longest continuously operated facilities in Florida, open 363 days a year. Now, as we are forced to close, we face uncertain times along with many other local businesses.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens mission
The Jungle Gardens mission is to provide educational and interactive experiences with animals and nature in the beautiful surroundings of Sarasota. We provide a permanent home for abandoned, abused, surrendered or un-releasable animals and offer educational shows, off site presentations, birthday parties and other exciting opportunities.
We also offer unique experiences such as hand feeding free roaming flamingos, holding parrots, small alligators, and other interesting animals. Also, we are the first in the area to launch a walk-in Butterfly Aviary & Nursery Exhibit. We are also 100% supported by admission, gift shop and Café sales.
Need your support
While closed, our operating expenses still continue as we care for and feed our resident animals. Our hope is to reopen as soon as we are able. But we do not receive any Federal or State grants, private donations, or other financial support. We need your support.
Please reschedule your field trips, community functions, festivals and plans to visit us. Plan to celebrate holidays with us, come feed our beautiful flamingos and have your birthday parties here. We are counting on you and pray for those directly affected by the virus, our local community, and our country. We are strong together and look forward to seeing you soon!
If you are able to help before we reopen, please consider contributing to our GoFundMe Fundraising campaign. Our goal of raising $60,000 will help us cover some operating expenses for 3 months (March, April & May). It will pay animal care expenses particularly focused on food, enrichment, continuing show routines and veterinary care. We will also use the funds for security, utilities, insurance, and other required monthly expenses.
Go Fund Me page. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Note – Sarasota Jungle Gardens reopened on Thursday, May 7th. Their new temporary schedule will be Thursdays – Sundays from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm. Their plan is to reopen in phases in accordance with our State, County, City, and Health Department guidelines.
Photo from Sarasota Jungle Gardens Facebook page.