The Catherine Lowry Straz Veterinary Hospital provides medical services for the more than 300 species entrusted in our care and is the only veterinary facility inside a zoo that has been accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. The hospital boasts state-of-the-art equipment, including a surgical room, X-ray area and a laboratory. Led by world-renowned veterinarians, the ZooTampa medical team works to ensure that all of our animals receive the best healthcare. In addition to the manatee rehabilitation work, ZooTampa’s veterinary team also partners with organizations such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to care for and rehabilitate several of Florida’s iconic wildlife species including black bears and Florida panthers.
Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, DVM, Senior VP of Animal Health, Conservation & Education
Dr. Stringfield brings more than 35 years of experience as a medical professional and is a passionate advocate for the care and conservation of animals throughout the world. Most recently, Dr. Stringfield was a member of the animal health team at the Santa Barbara Zoo and a professor and department chair of the Exotic Animal Training and Management program at Moorpark College. Prior to that, she was a clinical and supervising veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo. Additionally, through U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Dr. Stringfield was the California Condor Veterinary Coordinator and Advisor for 17 years and a member of the California Condor Recovery Team during the incredible recovery of this endangered species. Dr. Stringfield also brings extensive big cat experience to ZooTampa, and is very excited to again work with USFWS and be part of the Florida Panther Recovery Program.
Dr. Lauren Smith, Veterinarian
A native of Texas and child of a military family, Lauren Smith graduated from Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Dr. Smith spent a number of years in companion animal practice before being selected for a prestigious internship in aquatic animal medicine at the University of Florida. In that capacity, she worked with a wide variety of species across several facilities including the Florida and Clearwater Marine Aquariums, Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Mammal Pathology Laboratory, ZooTampa, and the University’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. Following completion of that program, Dr. Smith returned briefly to private practice and spent time in Alaska before returning to Tampa as the Associate Veterinarian for ZooTampa in 2015. As a part of the veterinary team, she provides world class veterinary care for the divers animals in our care. With her background in aquatic animal medicine, Dr. Smith is currently the Zoo's lead manatee veterinarian, managing all care of these gentle giants. In addition to animal care at the Zoo, Dr. Smith is passionate about promoting the message of wildlife conservation and welfare.