Lowry Park Zoo, located in Tampa, Florida, is among the most popular zoos in the entire southeastern part of the U.S. Each year more than one million people visit the zoo.
History of Lowry Park Zoo
Lowry Park Zoo first originated as a municipal department during the 1930’s with a few Florida native species. Over the next forty years, the zoo continued to grow gradually but struggled to try to meet the professional standards required of modern zoos. The Lowry Park Zoo Association was created by community leaders in 1982 to take over managing the Zoo on behalf of the City of Tampa. Their goal was to create a world-class zoo via a private-public partnership. This association is now called the Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa, Inc. The Society worked with a national zoo designer to create a 24-acre modern facility. In 1988 it first opened to the general public.
The Zoo Today
Lowry Park Zoo currently is comprised of 56 acres of animal exhibits within a lush and beautiful tropical garden setting. Lowry Park Zoo offers up-close animal encounters, recreational amenities, educational programming and numerous seasonal events. The zoo is known as one of the most family-friendly zoos in the entire country.
The emphasis of Lowry Park Zoo is on vulnerable, threatened and endangered species from climates that similar to the Tampa Bay area. There are park areas that are devoted to Florida, Australia, Africa and Asia. enc The zoo offers behind-the-scenes tours, animal encounters, and other personalized experiences.
Animal Care and Conservation
Over 1,300 animals are cared for by Lowry Park Zoo. The zoo has won numerous awards for its management and animal conservation programs. In 2004 the zoo was formally recognized by the state of Florida as a center for conversation and biodiversity. It has the most comprehensive species exhibits of endangered Florida wildlife in the world.
Lowry Park Zoo also has an Education Department to support the mission of the zoo to provide educational and entertaining programming to inspire guests to appreciate and respect the natural world so that when they leave the zoo they feel empowered and motivated to take conservation action. The Florida Environmental Education Center is a full-time, year-round licensed childcare center at the zoo for children one through five years old. Over 1.8 million school-aged children in the Tampa Bay area have been educated since 1988 to increase their awareness of wildlife.