School is out and the weather is warm, so for most kids, learning is not at the top of their summer agenda. However, savvy parents know the secret … have them learn while having fun! One of the best places to do that is ZooTampa. Home to more than 1,000 animals representing hundreds of different species, the zoo provides hours of education and entertainment!
A day at ZooTampa could start with a visit to some of the world’s most endangered species, including the red wolf, which once inhabited the entire southeastern United States (including Florida), but has fewer than 20 remaining individuals in the wild.
ZooTampa, along with more than 40 conservation organizations, is part of a critically important effort to help save this species. Due to the team’s dedication, red wolves, which were once declared extinct in the wild, have flourished in managed care.
Several pairs have been released into the wild, including the release earlier this year of 4-year-old wolf Boca who was born at ZooTampa. The Zoo’s new Florida Wilds area is currently home to two family groups: brothers Reddington, Conner and Yulee and pair Nymeria and Sumac and their four pups born in April.
Be sure to check out their habitat and catch a glimpse of the pups taking their first steps. They’re a powerful symbol that gives hope to the future of this amazing animal.
Then head on over to the Africa Realm of the Zoo where the crash of southern white rhinos enjoys their day wallowing in the mud and eating upwards to 100 pounds of food a day!
This incredible species is the only rhino species with broad, flat lips that enable them to pull grasses out of the ground. It’s no wonder they are also called the lawn mowers of the African Savanna. Be sure to check out baby Ruby, the newest addition to the crash!
A visit to ZooTampa is not complete without a stop at the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center where Florida’s iconic species receive around-the-clock expert life-saving care. The center is one of only four critical care centers in the United States for sick, injured and orphaned manatees. Since opening in 1991, the team has cared for more than 500 manatees with a majority reintroduced into Florida waters.
What’s the best ending to a day of learning in the sun? A splash at the Manatee Circle fountains or Wallaroo water play area!
Purchase a ZooTampa membership and enjoy unlimited admission all summer long with no blockout dates, free preferred parking, a free guest per visit, discounts on food and merchandise, special pricing on signature encounters, invitations to member only events and much more!
Memberships start at just $114! Or take advantage of our best deal… a family membership which includes two adults, all kids, plus a free guest for just $224. Visit www.zootampa.org for details.
Summer 2022 is going to be the best one yet!
*Presented by ZooTampa | Originally published in the July 2022 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.