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Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter: Florida wildlife in a free park-like setting

Last updated on April 13th, 2022 at 10:37 am

There are lots of things to love about Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida  – it’s a beautiful forested property where you can see dozens of types of Florida wildlife; it’s free (although they welcome donations), and it provides critical care for hurt or sick critters, who usually got that way because of interaction with us.

Animals at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida. (Photos: David Blasco & Bonnie Gross)
Animals at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida. (Photos: David Blasco & Bonnie Gross)

It’s a particularly nice stop for families, but animal lovers of all ages were enjoying the place when we visited on a recent January weekday.

It has been around 35 years, starting strictly as a wildlife rehab center. Eventually, it added education to its mission and began a step-by-step development process that has resulted in it being visited by 100,000 people every year. Some time in the coming year, it will move to large site in Jupiter Farms.

Trail at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida (Photo: David Blasco)
Trail at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida. (Photo: David Blasco)

The Busch in the name comes from Peter W. Busch, whose family foundation is a key supporter. Busch owns Southern Eagle Distributing, the local Anheuser-Busch distributor.

The wildlife sanctuary is a model of partnerships in that it is located on the grounds of the Loxahatchee River District water treatment facility. (It’s not government funded; it depends on donations and fund-raising.)

Owl program at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
Owl program at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Visiting Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

The facility isn’t huge, but there are shady trails and boardwalks through several different habitats – pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, cypress wetlands and fresh water ponds.

All along the trails are well-designed enclosures for birds and beasts, ranging from some of the top predators – Florida panther, black bear, alligator and crocodile – and including deer, otter, bobcats, foxes and a wide variety of birds.

We felt lucky to see both the panther and the black bear moving about. Their enclosures are located on a trail that continues onto a wetland observation deck overlooking water-treatment ponds that attract storks, cormorants and anhinga.

Entrance to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter, Florida. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
Entrance to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Wildlife programs at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

There are animal encounters in a small outdoor amphitheater most days at 3 p.m. plus additional programming on same days. See the schedule here.

We visited on a Thursday when an owl program is presented at 12:30 p.m. We loved seeing the injured barn owl who assists in these presentations and although I’ve been to many programs on Florida birds, I did learn a few things in the interesting 15-minute presentation.

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary website

  • Busch Wildlife Sanctuary at Loxahatchee River District
  • 2500 Jupiter Park Drive
  • Jupiter, FL 33458
  • The park has shaded picnic tables for visitors to use.

Note: Busch Wildlife Sanctuary does not pressure visitors to make a donation. Admission is free and they make it easy to donate, but it is also easy to visit without making a donation.

A recent newsletter from the sanctuary made this interesting point: “In Florida, there are no government-funded injured wildlife care facilities. If someone finds an injured wild animal, their only option for help is to find a non-profit organization that specializes in wildlife rehabilitation. There are only a handful of such organizations scattered throughout the state.” Busch Wildlife Center sees about 5,000 animals a year.

Things to do near Busch Wildlife Center, Jupiter, Florida

A note from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip.

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myenchantingfloridalife

Saturday 26th of January 2019

Would love to drive down there one day for a visit! Love visiting different animal sanctuaries, facilities here in Florida:) Thanks for sharing!

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