ZooTampa receives the Gold Standard of Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

TAMPA, Fla. (April 10, 2020)- Following an extensive review by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), ZooTampa has again received national coveted accreditation. There are nearly 2,300 “zoos” across the United States, but only 10 percent (238) are part of AZA which holds its members to the highest standards of physical and mental care for wildlife. Accredited since 1989, ZooTampa’s expert staff includes curators, behaviorists, caretakers, veterinarians and veterinary technicians, all focused on providing exemplary care to the more than 1,100 animals who live at the Zoo.

“We are proud to have some of the most qualified zoological professionals in the world, known in their field for excellence in animal care, conservation and education,” stated Joe Couceiro president and CEO of ZooTampa, “Although temporarily closed to guests due to the global health crisis, we continue our leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Florida species, protecting animals in our backyard and around the world and inspiring guests to do the same.”

As a member of AZA, ZooTampa is an active participant of the Species Survival Plan, a national and international breeding program that ensures a future for wildlife around the world. The zoo’s David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center remains the largest non-profit, acute care facility of its kind specifically dedicated to providing critical care for wild manatees. In more than 20 years, the zoo has cared for more than 400 manatees, with the majority returned to Florida waters.

Additionally, the Catherine Lowry Straz Veterinary Hospital continues to be the first and only veterinary hospital inside a zoo that has been accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.

“As we look towards reopening in the near future, we reaffirm our commitment to the mission of immersing guests into unforgettable animal experiences beyond the ordinary that help foster connections with nature, wildlife and each other,” added Joe Couceiro.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 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 recognized as central Florida’s leading and most attended zoological cultural institution. ZooTampa is an eight-time winner of the Certificate of Excellence award by TripAdvisor (2010-2018) and is a leader in the rehabilitation and care of Florida species. 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. For more information, visit www.zootampa.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.