Summer was an exciting time at ZooTampa! After spending seven months in mom’s pouch, we officially got a full glimpse of Tampa’s newest furry resident, a healthy koala “joey”. The boy, named Sydney, is the first koala born at the Zoo and is part of our effort to conserve koalas through the Species Survival Plan. We also launched a new giraffe “meet and greet” experience that not only brings our guests eye-to-eye with the world’s tallest animal but also offers a unique opportunity to participate in a training session with one of our Animal Care professionals! These experiences highlight our mission to connect our guests with amazing animals that moves them to preserve and protect wildlife.
Looking ahead to autumn, the fun and adventures do not slow down. In September, we open our doors to members of The Florida Aquarium and MOSI as SWAPtember returns. This special benefit allows members of all three Tampa attractions to ‘swap’ memberships and experience all of the fun each has to offer! On the 21st of the month, we are proud to host the inaugural ZooTampa IRONKIDS presented by AdventHealth. The family event gives young athletes the thrill and excitement of competition while enjoying up-close interactions with some of the Zoo’s iconic animals.
Meanwhile, we‘ve started the transformation of the Zoo into Tampa Bay’s number one Halloween eerie family fright fest. The critically acclaimed Creatures of the Night returns on Fridays and Saturdays in October with more spooky scares and creepy frights for ghouls and goblins of all ages. The Zoo stays open late as a colorful cast of spooky characters, fearsome animals and immersive Halloween adventure zones take over to provide unforgettable eerie frights for the whole family. Unlike other Halloween events in the Tampa Bay area, ours is truly family-focused with just enough delightfully spooky and lighthearted startles to keep everyone laughing and entertained.
As we approach the end of the year, we look forward to the opening of the Sandy and Tom Callahan Center for Wildlife Conservation which will give guests a glimpse into the work we do to rescue, rehabilitate and care for animals from Florida and around the world. And, the year would not be complete without the return of one of Tampa’s most beloved holiday traditions, ZooTampa’s Christmas in the Wild. The event immerses guests into a world of seasonal cheer designed to create lasting holiday memories for the whole family.
It’s been a true “wild” year for us at ZooTampa and I remain grateful for the dedication of our team and enthusiastic support of our members and guests. I invite you to visit soon for memorable connections with wildlife and each other!
President & CEO