By Lauren Pastrana

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – June is National Zoo and Aquarium Month.

And we have both in South Florida!

But today, we’re focusing on Zoo Miami!

We asked our favorite animal expert Ron Magill to give us some fun facts about the zoo, and today’s “Lauren’s List” is jam-packed with little known facts about Zoo Miami.

It’s A Unique Property
The zoo is located on a 740-acre parcel of land donated by the federal government which used to be the Richmond Naval Air Station. It was a blimp base in the 1940s where blimps would go and search for German U-boats in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. There are several original bunkers on grounds that had housed military equipment and ammunition that they now use for general storage.

You’ll Walk A Lot
If you walk the entire property, get ready for a workout!  If you walk every walkway to see all the exhibits in the zoo, you’ll be walking nearly 3 miles. So be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

There’s A Wide Variety Of Animals To See
Zoo Miami has approximately 3,400 animals in its collection from over 500 species. It’s been the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to successfully reproduce several species, mostly birds. Also because of our climate, it specializes in tropical and sub-tropical species from places like the South American rainforests, Asian tropics, and African plains. No polar bears or penguins here.

The Animals Are Hungry
It costs approximately $1 million annually to feed all the animals in the zoo. Magill says the diets of the animals are incredibly varied, ranging from mealworms and crickets to meat and fish smoothies. Each animal has a specific diet sheet that not only tells us the ingredients but also how those ingredients are prepared. For instance, some animals like their apples cut in quarters and some like them diced. Picky animals, just like us humans!

When was the last time you went to Zoo Miami?

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Lauren Pastrana