The signature black-tie event supports the Zoo’s mission of conservation and education


TAMPA, Fla. (MARCH 28, 2019) – Karamu: A Night in Key West, the prestigious annual gala at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, returns Saturday, April 13th with a lavish tropical evening inspired by Key West’s sunsets and Mallory Square. In its 31st year, Karamu will take guests to the southernmost point of Florida – immersing them in the historic and Conch-style island city. Attendees will be surrounded by vibrant florals and iconic architectural scenes to convey the charm of the Florida Keys. Funds raised at Karamu support the Zoo’s conservation and education programs along with the Zoo’s commitment to preserving our most precious natural resources. The Zoo is thrilled to have Alex and Katie Sullivan as co-chairs for this year’s gala.

“Tampa Bay is so fortunate to have a world class zoo in our city. It’s wonderful to watch my children’s eyes light up with every visit to ZooTampa – they run from habitat to habitat full of excitement to see what they’ll discover around every corner. The Zoo gives guests the chance to interact with wildlife all while providing rescue, rehabilitation and care. ZooTampa holds a special place in the hearts of the Sullivan family and we are committed to supporting ZooTampa’s mission of conservation,” said Alex Sullivan, Director of Real Estate for Metro Diner.

“ZooTampa at Lowry Park is thankful for the support of community leaders such as Mr. Sullivan. The Zoo is committed to preserving Florida wildlife and inspiring others to join us in saving iconic native species as we continue to transform the Zoo, starting with a refresh of the Zoo’s Florida realm,” said ZooTampa at Lowry Park’s CEO Joe Couceiro. “Every ticket and donation helps save Florida wildlife and carries on the Zoo’s longstanding tradition to rescue, rehabilitate and release these treasured animals.”

The recent reopening of the Zoo’s upgraded Manatee Critical Care Center is the first phase of an ambitious plan to increase the capacity to care for a variety of threatened native Florida species. ZooTampa at Lowry Park has saved hundreds of manatees for nearly three decades. In addition, since 1988, ZooTampa has rescued and rehabilitated 13 endangered Florida panthers, seven within the last seven years. With the support of generous donors, the Zoo continues to expand its capacity to provide excellent long-term care to Florida’s threatened and endangered animals, including panthers, manatees, indigo snakes and Key deer.

Karamu, from the Swahili word for “party,” has raised more than $3 million in support of animal care and conservation at ZooTampa over the last 30 years. Unique auction items include a Pebble Beach Golf & Stay Package, the ultimate Nashville experience including tickets to the 2019 Country Music Awards, a Freedom Boat Club membership and more. The Zoo gratefully acknowledges title sponsors Ashley Homestore and Regions. ZooTampa would also like to thank grand sponsors, Dex Imaging, Raymond James, Triad Foundation, Chris T. Sullivan Foundation & Patricia Sullivan.


About ZooTampa at Lowry Park 

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in conservation, education, recreation 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). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours for select events. Parking is free. For more, visit www.ZooTampa.org or call (813) 935-8552. Also, find the Zoo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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