You otter know about this: How Wekiva Island is supporting the Central Florida Zoo  

At Wekiva Island, giving back to our community has long been part of what we do. Each year, our board gathers and decides how we will make an impact with our time, talent and treasure in Seminole County, Central Florida, and beyond. 

Last year, part of those efforts included sponsoring the North American river otter habitat at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. We have sponsored other Zoo events, and our leadership has served on the Zoo’s board, but this took our involvement even further.  

It was something we felt called to do because of our unique location on the Wekiva River, home to otters just like the one at the Zoo. We’ve even named our bar—the Tooting Otter—after them. Supporting the Zoo’s conservation efforts for these animals (and many others) reflects our own passion for conservation of the river and the habitats around it.  

Through our partnership, we have committed to help the Zoo feed and care for its otter, Molly, for the year. We kicked off the support last year with a Seafood Boil fundraiser. 

We recently had the chance to celebrate this partnership at the Zoo with leadership and Molly herself, and it was so special. 

We met with Zoo CEO Richard E. Glover, Jr., did a ceremonial “fish drop” to give Molly her enrichment treat and took a photo with Molly. She stole the show and “posed” in our photo!  

The Zoo also tied in another of our passions at Wekiva Island—art. Mr. Glover presented us with a framed canvas painted by Molly herself (as part of her enrichment with her keepers). Having this gift to commemorate our partnership is so special, and we will hang this one-of-a-kind painting at the Island.

“It’s a pleasure to partner with an organization like Wekiva Island that is rooted in conservation and sustainability,” Glover said. “Sponsorships like this are part of the way the Zoo is able to live its mission and do the conservation and education work we need to in the community. Together with Wekiva Island we can make a significant impact.” 

We’re honored to join hands with the Zoo to do some good. We’re proud to be part of Seminole County and Central Florida, and we aim to live that out through partnerships like this, and through partnerships with O-Town Compost, the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey and more.  

“The painting from Molly was such a special gift and an amazing way to officially celebrate this partnership,” said Bill Weinaug, owner of Wekiva Island. “We are excited about what our gift will do for our community and this species that calls the Wekiva River home.” 

We encourage all of our fans to visit Molly at the Zoo to learn more about why we’re so passionate about this cause, and of course to stop by the Island to learn more about river otters’ habitat in the wild. We look forward to continuing to support Molly and the Zoo in 2024. 

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