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The Florida International Teaching Zoo (FITZ) is an educational facility that maintains a diversified wildlife collection in a relaxed and intimate setting. Maintenance of a balanced animal collection in functional facilities strenthens the zoo animal science curriculum while providing a personal atmosphere to the visiting public. Increased appreciation of wildlife by the management student and the paying visitor satisfies both educational and recreational goals.
The zoo was established in 1994 as the Marion Nature Park, occupying acreage located at the regional flea market, the Markets of Marion. We are presently located in Bushnell, Florida about ten minutes from Interstate 75. We are known for our breeding successes with the South American Jaguar, the Hawaiian Nene goose, the fourth most endangered bird in North America; and the largest colony of African Patas Monkeys in the Western Hemisphere. FITZ's uniqueness lies in our educational goals. We maintain a modest animal collection of rare and endangered species, which allows our zoological professional students to get experience with classes of animals encountered in their future careers. At the same time, the zoo provides an intimate experience for visitors with a guided tour from our students.