There is a magical place in Florida home to Bambi and friends. If you are looking for wildlife but want to skip the fees at the zoo, take a road trip to the Florida Keys: National Key Deer Refuge is home to "Key deer" - a species of less than one thousand.
This unique critter is the smallest species of deer in North America and smallest species of white-tailed deer in the world. Big Pine Key is populated with these mammals and you can usually see them outside of Overseas Highway with deer crossing signs along the roadside.
Many people visit this area and feed the deer. However, it is recommended to not feed them in order to keep them healthy and wild. These deer weigh about 60 pounds and are roughly the size of a medium to large dogs. Don't hesitate to pull over when you see one of them on the road, as these deer are used to be around humans.
This adorable deer species is very different from the other ones. They are resilient, friendly and curious, and the majority only live in Big Pine Key. It is important you drive slowly around the surroundings as they tend to pop out of the bushes unexpectedly.
The Florida Keys also has other diverse wildlife such as alligators, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and tarpons. But, you want to make a visit here for Bambi and friends. You will see an abundance of deer the farther north you go. You are allowed to pet them but it is unlwaful to feed them.
The National Key Deer Refuge is located at Key Deer Boulevard, Big Pine Key, FL 33043. You can visit this place Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm.
Disclaimer: We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.