Rescue, rehabilitate and care for animals; create exceptional personalized experiences that connect people with wildlife and each other in fun, immersive ways.
Everyone we touch is motivated to join us in taking action to protect and preserve wildlife.
Voted Tampa’s Best Family Attraction and 11-time winner of TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award, ZooTampa offers unforgettable adventures for all ages. Enjoy an amazing, lush tropical setting with naturalistic habitats that provide up-close connections with animals from around the world.
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).
ZooTampa 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.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park’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,” — a year-round, full-time, licensed childcare center that enrolls children ages one through five — was the first full-time, licensed childcare center operated by a U.S. zoo. Since 1988, ZooTampa 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.
It takes vision, dedication, and strategic focus to continue to grow ZooTampa. Our leadership team is comprised of business leaders, animal care experts, and educational innovators who are committed to ZooTampa’s mission and vision.
The Zoo cares for more than 1,000 animals and participates in nearly 100 of AZA’s networks for managing endangered and threatened species, winning awards for its animal conservation programs. The State of Florida formally recognized ZooTampa in 2004 as a center for biodiversity and conservation. This is best reflected in our work 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) three times since opening in 2015. ZooTampa has been the only zoo in the country to earn that distinction.
Originating in the 1930’s, ZooTampa has been bringing guests from all over Florida and around the world for almost a century. From humble beginnings as a municipal department with a small number of Florida species to the 56-acres of naturalistic animal habitats today, our story continues to grow and evolve for everyone to enjoy.
We are committed to financial transparency. You can download the following financial documents to learn how your donation dollars are allocated to conserve and protect wildlife at ZooTampa
Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, INC. is a 501(c)(3) Organization; TIN# 59-2328289.