logo spelling Sunken Gardens with flamingo illustration in between the two words
logo spelling Sunken Gardens with flamingo illustration in between the two words


Discover Our Resident Animals

Sunken Gardens is home to a fabulous flock of flamingos, rehomed tropical birds, turtles and tortoises, and koi. Our devoted team of animal care staff and volunteers are committed to providing the best possible care to ensure that our resident animals thrive.

Please respect these incredible animals by observing them from a safe distance.


Flamingos have been an iconic symbol of Sunken Gardens since they first arrived in the 1950s. Thanks to the Sunken Gardens Forever Foundation, we were able to “restock the flock” in 2016, and our flamboyance has continued to wow guests ever since. All of our flamingos are Chilean flamingos--one of six flamingo species. At the Gardens, our flamingos spend their days socializing, filter feeding, and preening in their beach habitat.

Find the flamingos near the History Center and Orchid Arbor.

Exotic Birds

Our colorful array of exotic birds includes macaws, cockatoos, amazon parrots, a toucan, and a kookaburra. All of our exotic birds found their forever home at Sunken Gardens when their previous owners could no longer care for them. Due to their long lifespans and the extensive resources required to care for exotic birds, it is an unfortunate yet common occurrence for pet owners to surrender these amazing avians.

Find our tropical birds throughout the Gardens in their various habitats or as they enjoy enrichment outings with our animal care team.


Did you know that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises? We have two types of land-dwelling turtles at the Gardens: North American box turtles and red-footed tortoises. These resident reptiles can often be found lounging in their houses or under foliage to thermoregulate—the process by which reptiles regulate their body temperature. Both species are omnivores and enjoy a varied diet that consists of vegetables, fruit, hay, grasses, earthworms, slugs, mealworms, crickets, and grasshoppers.

Find our turtles in their shady oasis between the Amphitheater and Coconut Grove.


Koi, also referred to as ornamental carp, are well-known for their beautiful colorations and calming swimming patterns. Koi are omnivores, and the diet of our koi includes specialized pellets that contain important nutrients for overall health. Koi food is often available for purchase at the Sunken Gardens gift shop. Our animal care team monitors the amount of food our koi consume each day and limit distribution of koi food as needed.

Find our koi in the pond near the Sunken Gardens Arched Bridge.


Sunken Gardens serves as an important green space in one of Florida’s most densely populated counties. As a result, many wild animals live in or move through the Gardens. The original terrain was a wetland habitat for countless reptiles, amphibians, pollinators, rabbits, woodpeckers, owls, wading birds, migrating birds, and more. Although the landscape has changed, many of these creatures can still be seen in the Gardens today.

multiple orchids in various shades of pink

Plants at the Gardens

Learn about the lush greenery, vibrant blooms, and resilient cacti at Sunken Gardens.
cream sunken gardens logo with pelican icon
Photo Credit: City of St. Petersburg & Julia Calvert
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