David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center


David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is widely known for caring for critically injured, sick and orphaned manatees. This endangered species has been at the heart of the Zoo’s commitment to conservation of Florida wildlife for more than 20 years. Without support from you and others in our community, the Zoo cannot continue critical care of manatees.


The Zoo’s David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center is the first non-profit, acute care facility of its kind specifically dedicated to critical care for wild manatees, and one of just four contracted federally permitted manatee rehabilitation centers in the state of Florida. Since 1991, the manatee care and veterinary team have treated over 400 manatees with more than 230 of those reintroduced into Florida waters.

The manatee care team and vet staff monitor and examine a manatee patient at the manatee critical care center in Tampa
Zookeepers tend to a rehabbing manatee at ZooTampa's manatee critical care center

To enhance animal welfare and expand our mission to save Florida wildlife, ZooTampa recently completed an upgrade to the water filtration system at the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center. This new, upgraded life support system allows us to provide advanced, specialized care for the welfare of manatees and treat even the most severe cases.


As manatee patients recover, visitors can see this life-saving care in real time in the recovery pools of Manatee Mangrove.