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The stories of American cities are inextricably linked with the tales of immigrants, making their homes there. And Miami is no exception – in the last century, it has become a melting pot of wildlife from around the globe. But now it’s not the people we look at but the animals making Miami their home.
This South Florida metropolis has become home for Indian peafowls, parrots, peacocks, anoles: small lizards with flashy colours on their throats and giant blue land crabs who migrate from their terrestrial burrows to the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay.
In the intricate network of canals that cut through the city you can find manatees, alligators, and crocodiles. Tropical aquarium fish, released into the city’s waterways by owners weary of caring for them, thrive here along with colourful cichlids and Gambusia. Even a troop of vervet monkeys – hailing originally from East Africa – have persisted for decades in the dense mangroves near Fort Lauderdale Airport.
As dusk becomes dark in sunny Miami, bats emerge from roosts in attics to hunt for prey, and terrestrial carnivores like the raccoon, gray fox, and coyote prowl for whatever prey they can find. However, their fortunes change, the animal immigrants of Miami have beaten the odds to gain a foothold on a new continent.
But in a city, that’s so intimately linked with the rest of the world, it won’t be long before a new generation of animal immigrants arrives, to create a new life for themselves… in 'Wild Miami'.
Terra Mater Factual Studios/Day’s Edge Productions/Smithsonian Channel