Save The Frogs Day

Written By: Spencer Schultz

Panamanian golden frogs, Atelopus zeteki, are highly important cultural representatives in Panama, somewhat of a national symbol; they are as valued as the Bald eagle is to the United States. Their likeness is culturally lucky, displayed on pottery and shown even on their lottery tickets; they even hold deep roots in local mythology.
The historic range of Panamanian golden frogs is around El Valle De Anton and Cerro Campana in Panama. They were found around sloping streams and waterfalls in Cloud forests of Panama, roughly 1,100 to 4,300 ft above sea level. Atelopid frogs (golden frogs and their relatives) are highly unique and secrete a skin toxin known as Zetekiton, which is named for the Panamanian golden frog specifically.
Living so close to the loudness of waterfall and fast moving rivers, they have done away with calling for main communication and have developed a hand waving motion known as semaphore. This hand wave is done on top of rock or along bare banks to maximize visibility. They use this as a warning to defend territory, as well as to attract mates.

Golden frogs are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list, but there has not been a sighting reported since 2009. While many conservationists hold some hope that there are still undiscovered populations, it is most likely that these gorgeous creatures are extinct in the wild. This is thought to have happened mainly in 2008 when a pathogenic fungal disease known as chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) came through Panama and caused most, if not all, of the frogs to die off. The fungus attaches itself to the semi porous skin of amphibians causing many health issues. Habitat loss has also contributed to population decline, mainly from farming and logging polluting their waterways. These frogs are considered a warning of what may happen to all frogs and other amphibians worldwide.

We are honored to be working with many other facilities in the Panamanian Golden Frog Species Survival Plan (SSP). This plan acts as an ark of sorts for the species. We work to develop the most genetically diverse frogs possible with the hopes of releasing them back into their native range. However before this is done, they need a healthy home to go back to.  This is something that can be done by working on preventing habitat loss and learning how to overcome chytrid.

Simple ways you can help are by not releasing pets into the wild, thus preventing disease spread, as well as preventing pollution by recycling and keeping our home waterways clean. Another idea is to join a citizen scientist program, such as FrogWatch, where you can help take surveys of native frogs in your area.

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Please review our booking tips before continuing

1. Please make one field trip per reservation order. Complete one and start a new one if you have multiple days you are booking.

2. Headcount can be approximate. Please include children and adults in your headcount. Please do not include pass holders in your headcount for a ticket.

3. On the ticket page, choose the correct grade level (to the left of your screen) to receive the correct chaperone ratio.

4. On the ticket page, when on the calendar section, the number of tickets available will appear in the top right corner for each particular day. Tickets available include children and adults. If you have more people than tickets available, please choose another day.

5. Anyone that is ordering lunch, even pass holders and adults that receive free chaperone tickets, do need to pay for a lunch IF they are ordering one. Free chaperone tickets and pass holders are for admission only.

Boxed lunch orders must be received 5 business days prior to your field trip arrival. Groups will be responsible for all boxed lunches that were confirmed at that time.

6. Payment does not need to be paid at the time of registration. Choose the pay upon arrival option if you would like one person to pay for your entire trip on the day of your visit.

7. The prices of adult and children’s tickets are different.

8. You will receive a confirmation number and confirmation letter via email when your trip is confirmed. If you do not, please contact right away.

Outside Food & Drinks Policy

ZooTampa at Lowry Park offers a variety of delicious food for guests at several restaurants and concession stands throughout, but we understand that guests may need to bring outside food for special dietary needs. Acceptable and prohibited food items are listed below. For the convenience of our guests, there is a picnic area located outside the park near the main parking lot.

 Acceptable Items
  • Bottled water (max 20oz bottle, sealed) one per guest
  • Small snacks for young children
  • Baby food/baby formula
  • Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep (limit one per child)
  • Pre-purchased empty ZooTampa souvenir cups
  • Any food required for medical purposes and medically-indicated nutritional supplements
 Prohibited Items
  • Prepared or packaged food or meals
  • Alcohol
  • Glass or any open containers or water bottles filled with beverages
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Prohibited Items

For the safety of our animals, guests and employees, the following items are not permitted to be brought into ZooTampa:

  • Any type of explosive or weapon 
  • Knives or other sharp objects
  • Pepper spray
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Marijuana
  • Illegal drugs
  • Straws
  • Clothing likely to create a danger or disturbance
  • Any hazardous items or materials

The following items are also prohibited to avoid blocking of walkways and/or trip hazards:

  • Segways
  • Hover boards
  • Two-wheeled scooters
  • Self-balancing electric vehicles
  • Shoes with wheels
  • Drones
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Please leave any unnecessary articles secured within your vehicle to expedite your entry into the park.

We reserve the right to deny entry to anyone not observing Zoo Rules.

Pay For A Day Tickets

With a new Pay For A Day, Rest of Year Free ticket – for a limited time – you get unlimited admission through December 31, 2024 including access to our seasonal event series. Some blockout dates apply — see below for details. Not valid with any other discounts.

When does my Pay For A Day ticket expire?

Pay for a Day Get the Rest of the Year Free tickets purchased in October, November, or December of 2023, are valid from the day of purchase until 12/31/2024. Any Pay For a Day Get the Rest of the Year Free tickets purchased prior to October 1, 2023 expire on 12/31/2023.

What are the blockout dates?

11/24/23 – 11/26/23
12/26/23 – 12/31/23
3/9/24 – 3/17/24
11/24/24 – 11/26/24
12/26/24 – 12/31/24

Blockout dates apply to admission before 4:00 PM on the above dates.

Can I purchase a Pay For A Day ticket on a blockout date?

Yes! You can purchase a Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket for first-time use on a listed blockout date and have full access to the park on that day. Blockout dates apply to repeat visitation.

Can I use my Pay For A Day ticket on blockout dates? If you already have your Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket and wish to visit during a listed blockout date, please stop by the Zoo’s ticketing windows for alternate options:
  1. During blockout periods, Pay For A Day ticket holders have access to significantly discounted single-day tickets.*
  2. For a limited time from the date of purchase, Pay For A Day tickets can be upgraded to a Zoo Membership (with no blockout dates).
I purchased a Pay For A Day ticket online. How do I get my actual ticket?

Bring a copy of your confirmation (or show the confirmation email on your mobile device) to expedite entry into the Zoo. At your convenience during your visit you can stop by the Tours & Guest Services kiosk located just inside the Zoo to print your physical pass. No need to stand in line at the ticket windows. Walk right in!
Still have questions? Email us or call (813) 935-8552 ext. 0.