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Unforgettable Connections.

Exciting. Interactive. Fun.


Unforgettable natural connections.


Everyone we touch is motivated to join us in taking action to protect and preserve wildlife.


Rescue, rehabilitate and care for animals; create exceptional personalized experiences that connect people with wildlife and each other in fun, immersive ways.


Five-time winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (2010-2015), Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is one of the most popular zoos in the southeastern U.S., with over 1 million visitors annually. The Zoo originated in the 1930's as a municipal department with a small number of Florida native species. It grew gradually throughout the next four decades, but struggled to meet the developing professional standards of modern zoos. In 1982, community leaders created the Lowry Park Zoo Association to take over management of the Zoo for the City of Tampa with the goal of creating a world-class zoo through a public-private partnership. The Association then became the Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, Inc., as it remains today. Working with a national zoo designer, the Society was able to create a modern, 24-acre facility that opened to the public in 1988 and shortly after earned Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has now grown to what now encompasses 56 acres of naturalistic animal exhibits in a lush, tropical garden setting. The Zoo offers popular educational programming, fun recreational amenities, up-close animal encounters and engaging seasonal events for which it has won accolades as one of the country's most family-friendly zoos.


The Zoo emphasizes endangered, threatened and vulnerable species from climates similar to that of the Tampa Bay region, with park areas devoted to Asia, Africa, Australia and Florida. Our animal habitats balance support for the maximum well-being of the animals with the importance of engaging our guests and inspiring them to protect and preserve wildlife. Random animal encounters, behind-the-scene tours, and other special personalized experiences expand the Zoo’s opportunities to provide unforgettable natural connections.


The Zoo now cares for more than 1,300 animals. The Zoo participates in nearly 100 of AZA’s networks for managing endangered and threatened species (read more here), and has won numerous awards for its animal conservation and management programs. The State of Florida formally recognized the Zoo in 2004 as a center for biodiversity and conservation. It exhibits the most comprehensive species of endangered Florida wildlife anywhere. This is best reflected in the work we do every day at the Jacarlene Animal Care Campus which features the Tiedemann-Cotton Animal Care Annex, and our Catherine Lowry Straz Veterinary Hospital which has earned accreditation with the American Association of Animal Hospitals (AAHA) twice since opening in 2015. We are the only zoo in USA to have ever earned that distinction. 

Rescue. Rehabilitate. Release

One of our most important conservation programs at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center, the first permitted nonprofit critical care facility of its kind in Florida. Like a window on a manatee “emergency room,” Zoo guests have the unique experience of watching conservation at work as the Zoo’s veterinary and animal care staff treat sick, injured and orphaned manatees. Underwater viewing windows in the Manatee & Aquatics Center let guests come nose-to-nose with manatees that the Zoo staff return to the wild when they have fully recovered. 

Manatee Facts

  • Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has cared for more than 400 manatees.
  • 71 calves have been treated to-date.
  • 82 manatees are injured by boat strike each year.
  • Rescued manatees stay an average of 173 days at our hospital.
  • It takes $30,000 per month to feed the manatees, making them the most expensive species to feed at the Zoo.


Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s Education Department supports the Zoo’s mission with entertaining and educational programming designed to inspire guests with respect and appreciation for the natural world so that they leave the Zoo motivated and empowered to take positive conservation action. Our programs can be formal or informal, on-site or off-site, and tailored by age group and interest. The Zoo’s Florida Environmental Education Center, or “Zoo School,” is a year-round, full-time, licensed childcare center that enrolls children ages one through five. It was the first full-time, licensed childcare center operated by a U.S. zoo. Since 1988, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has educated more than 1.8 million school-aged children throughout Tampa Bay, increasing awareness about wildlife and the ways in which students can contribute to their preservation.
  • 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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Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.