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Dr. Larry Killmar

Chief Zoological Officer


Dr. Larry Killmar came to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in 2007 with nearly 40 years of zoological experience. He holds a PhD in Business Administration and an MBA from California Coast University. Dr. Killmar is widely published in animal care and management and is a sought-after instructor on Collections Management Techniques and Functions of Animal Care Staff. He is Chairperson, Coordinator, or a member of numerous Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plans (SSP), and chaired a task force on management techniques, treatment, and handling procedures of captive elephants in North America. He was a member of AZA’s Trends Task Force in 2004, is currently a member of the AZA Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee and is President of the Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He began his career at the Zoological Society of San Diego (ZSSD), rising from buildings and grounds attendant to Deputy Director of Collections. Dr. Killmar played a key role in positioning ZSSD as a world conservation leader by expanding its on-site conservation program into the field. In 2003, he managed the importation of 11 African elephants from Swaziland, including 4 males and 7 females, all of whom have now calved with the birth of 2 females at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo in 2012 and 2013. In 2010, he accepted the American Federation of Aviculture “Avy Award” for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for its first hatching in North America of the African shoebill. Dr. Killmar manages all aspects of the Zoo’s animal science and conservation administration and operations.  Additionally he serves as spokesperson and voice of authority on related media issues.   In 2015, Dr Killmar was promoted to Sr. VP, Chief Zoological Officer (CZO) and his role ​expanded as a member of the Executive Leadership Team to also oversee the Zoo’s education initiatives and serve as zoo director.

  • Tampa Bay City Pass
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums
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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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