The Bond Of A Mother & Baby, A Message From Our VP Of Conservation

Written by Lee Ann Rottman, Vice President of Conservation

We are so excited to welcome a new Bornean orangutan baby to our Zoo family!  On the morning of Saturday, January 6th, Bornean orangutan, DeeDee, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl weighing about three pounds. Dee Dee is quite the experienced mother, already successfully giving birth five times. She is very attentive and even gently pats her baby’s back when she gets fussy.

The bond between Dee Dee and her baby is so special, it resembles the unbreakable bond between a human mother and a baby. The connection between humans and apes is astounding! Like humans, baby apes are born completely dependent on their mothers and this maternal care continues for many years. For example, Dee Dee’s, nine-year-old daughter Randee, still slept with Dee Dee in her nest at night. With the new baby, Randee has taken a big step to growing up and is now making her own nest. Randee is also closely watching DeeDee and the new baby, this is an important step for her to learn how to be a mother. Orangutan mothers prefer to raise their baby on their own with no help, meaning the care and survival of a baby is solely dependent on them. These moms are the epitome of strength and devotion.

While we celebrate the arrival of our newest baby, it’s important to reflect on the perils orangutans face in the wild. Orangutans are losing their homes due to clearcutting for plant palm oil plantations leaving many orangutan babies to lose their mothers which is detrimental as babies cannot survive on their own in the wild. Palm oil is an edible oil that is found in everyday items like food, candy, soaps, etc. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has made a great app that helps consumers make smart choices at the grocery store. By downloading the Sustainable Palm Oil App, you can help save orangutans.

North America is home to only 90 animals in the Bornean Orangutan Species Survival Plan. Each birth is very significant and crucial to the longevity of this precious species. Since DeeDee is such a devoted mother, her contribution to her species goes beyond the five babies she has raised herself, it extends to the five grandbabies she has in the SSP population. DeeDee is truly an amazing ambassador for her species and her new daughter is too cute for words!

We hope that when you see the connection between mother and baby, you will be motivated to become advocates for this incredible species. Every dollar, every visit, every membership truly makes a difference.


Please review our booking tips before continuing

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, 2023 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?

For a limited time, new Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free tickets are valid from the day of purchase until 12/31/2023 Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free tickets which were purchased prior to October 1st, 2022 are valid until 12/31/2022.

What are the blockout dates?

3/11/23 – 3/19/23
11/24/23 – 11/26/23
12/26/23 – 12/31/23

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.