Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lowry Park Zoo

Hi Neighbors!

Here is an update from Florida; Tampa Lowry Park Zoo is a great place to visit!  This is just one of those things that I have to share with my neighbors here At the Fence.  I went to the zoo with one of my older daughters, H who is 25.  Yes, just the 2 of us.  The rest of the family went to MOSI.  (You will hear about that in another post.)
The Leopards are so pretty.

Tampa Lowry Park Zoo:
"Lowry Park Zoo was recognized by Parents magazine in 2009 as the #1 zoo in America.  They have approx. 1,700 animals on nearly 60 acres.  Tampa's first zoo was established in the late 1930s on the banks of the Hillsborough River in PlantPark. It consisted of a small collection of indigenous animals such as raccoons, alligators and an aviary with a variety of exotic birds. As the collection grew, the animals were moved to the more centrally located Lowry Park in 1957, by Mayor Nick Nuccio, where it was maintained by Tampa'sParks Department.  Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo celebrated many noteworthy animal collection accomplishments in 2009-10, including several significant births: the Zoo’s first Indian rhino calf; the Zoo’s first and second Grevy’s zebra foals; and the Zoo’s first African white rhinoceros calf. The Zoo also made history - becoming the first wildlife institution in North America to hatch a rare African shoebill stork chick, and just the second institution worldwide.

Catching a nap.
We managed to get there shortly after the zoo opened.  It was a pleasant day out, short sleeve weather and quite comfortable.  We wanted to make sure to see the Birds of Prey show, so we started out in that direction and saw what we could before it started.  To begin with, they have the most adorable Leopards.  They are almost a year old, but they were simply cute!  They were both out sunning themselves when we first saw them.  I was able to take several pictures, and I think they came out great on my new camera.

I loved the color contrast!
In the section we were in there were Warthogs, Tufted Deer, an Indian Rhino and her baby, some really neat looking birds, a Sloth Bear, Tigers, etc.  We also had time to visit the reptiles, fish and Manatees, before the Birds of Prey show.  There were so many unique critters.  There is a turtle that has a small, pink attachment to it's tongue that looks like a tiny, wiggling worm.  He just sits there with his mouth open, wiggling the tiny pink thing until something enters his mouth for the worm, then... SNAP, he has lunch!  My daughter and I fell in love with the seahorses.  They are very unusual.  The top half looks like a horse, the horses neck and then it gets narrow for the rest of the body.  Their little tiny fins move really fast.

Isn't he regal!
They are so unique.
Finally, it was time for the Birds of Prey.  A big thank you should be given to the young man who actually hosted the Birds of Prey.  He did an excellent job!  The Eastern Screech Owl, the Great Horned Owl, a Hawk, and a Bald Eagle, really made the show.  Several of the birds have been trained to fly from platform to platform above the zoo visitors.  Some of them fly really close to your head. It was beautiful to see, and well worth the time to stop and take in the show.  Great show Lowry Park Zoo!  Thank you!

He is seriously cute!

Look at the wing spread!

Next we had to make a stop for lunch.  We ate at the Garden Grille.  I had a cheese burger, minus the bun, a garden salad, and a diet drink.  My daughter had a fish sandwich, side salad and lemonade.  The only unusual thing is, they don't use lids or straws.  This is done for the animal's safety.  They need to keep items like that from getting in with the animals as these could injure one of them.

We ate here.

The baby was cute.
After lunch we visited the Primate area.  You have to love the monkeys, chimps, and Tamarins.  They just make you laugh.  One was sitting by the water with a turtle poised near the edge.  He was watching the turtle closely when suddenly another one scurried over and shoved the turtle into the water.  We were laughing so hard.  He was obviously the "bad boy" of the group, because he immediately ran off and interrupted another group of monkeys that were sitting quietly by themselves until he arrived.  Alot of fun to watch.  we could have spent hours there watching them.

He was pouting!

This is how I feel after a long day!

The one on the left is the one who shoved the turtle in!

A quick question for my neighbors, did you know that there are penguins who do not live in snow?  These were African Penguins.  Their body shape is a little different.  We were taking pictures, and one started growling at my daughter.  At least it sounded like a growl.  She tried to get a video, but every time she turned it on, he stopped.  Maybe he was shy!

The one in front with the yellow band was growling!

 On to the elephants, giraffes, and camels.  In this section of the zoo, I saw the strangest bird.  It is called a Shoebill Stork.  This bird has one of the largest bills I have ever seen.  The informational sign said that in hot
weather the parent will get a bill-ful of water and pour it over the eggs to keep them cool.

This is the Shoebill Stork

We then headed to the children's section.  Here there is a small petting zoo, Koi that you can touch, if you can get them to come to the surface near you, Emu, pony rides, and bats.  Another unique find here is the singing dog, who can also climb trees.  Last of all we ran back to visit the otters.  Somehow we missed them earlier in the day.

One of the Koi.

We were able to get pretty close to these guys.

There is a carousel, small roller coaster, and a safari ride at the Lowry Park Zoo.  We did not have time for the ride, because our time was limited, but we did manage to visit all the areas that were open. They also have a water fountain area where the children can splash and cool off a little.  Lowry Park Zoo is renovating some areas of the zoo.  The gators, stingrays, along with most of the American section.

This is the water area that children can play in.

I am hoping that on our trip next year these sections will be open again.  I would also like for the whole family to go then.  I have to admit though that it was nice and relaxing to just spend time with my daughter H.  Of course we did have to stop at the gift shop on the way out and look around.

One of the Emu.
The Otter.

The Tampa Lowry Park Zoo is well worth your time to visit.  They have signs beside each display with fun facts and information.  Lowry Park Zoo also is a manatee hospital for injured manatees.  We have actually seen them when we have gone canoeing, out in their natural habitat.  They are often injured by propellers on boats and by nets.  The Lowry Park Zoo undertakes nursing them back to health.  

One of the Manatee.

ADMISSION: NEW FOR 2011 – Unlimited amusement rides included with admission!
One-Day Ticket Prices:
$23.95 for adults
$21.95 for seniors (60+)
$18.95 for children ages 3-11
FREE for children ages 2 and under
DIRECTIONS: The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of
I-275 (exit 48) and approximately 5.5 miles north of downtown Tampa.
CONTACT: For more information, please call (813) 935-8552 or visit Also find the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.

The Tampa Lowry Park Zoo has special admission days where you can get in for $5 each, so be sure to check their calendar!

A perfect ending to a wonderful day!
Neighbors, be sure to take a minute and  leave a comment.  Let me know if you have ever visited Lowry Park Zoo.  Also let me know which picture you like best!

Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive 2 passes to the Lowry Park Zoo.  All quotes are taken directly from the Lowry Park Zoo or website.  All thoughts and opinions are entirely mine.

1 comment:

CathyH said...

You took a lot of great photos!! Love the emu and the carousel photo looks artistic with that white fence and all!