Iguanaland coming to Southwest Florida soon

Ty Park has long dreamt of opening up a park dedicated to reptiles.

Soon his dream will come true as he plans to open the largest reptile zoo in the world, right in Southwest Florida.

“I bought this place in 2007 to just raise animals and do conservation work for reptiles,” said Park, president of Iguanaland.

Park said he will probably end up with 250 to 300 different species.

“That would make us the largest reptile zoo in the world,” Park said.

Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota currently holds that title. Guinness World Records said the park has more than 225 different species and counting.

Park said Iguanaland may not be the largest once it’s open but he expects to become the largest a year into the endeavor.

Park asked workers from all over the U.S. to come to Charlotte County to add the finishing touches. He said he believes it will help the animals feel at home.

“We replicate different forms of Rock, be it granite, or limestone, to fit the habitat of the actual animals,” said Dan Jennison, owner of Jennison Studios.

The zoo could open as early as July.

Park said his goal is to educate children and to focus on conservation work. Park hopes to raise about $250,000 a year to help with conservation efforts at the zoo. The zoo plans to be family-friendly and won’t keep venomous animals on the property.

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Follow Iguanaland on their Facebook page here.

 

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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