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BUGTOPIA brings giant animatronic bugs to ZooTampa this year

Giant butterfly robot with green wings and an orange body rests on a boulder in the woods

Get ready for something big. ZooTampa, currently nominated as one of the best zoos in the country, will bring tinier creatures to brilliant life. BUGTOPIA is a limited-time family-friendly event that opens on Saturday, February 25. This larger-than-life exhibit is free with Zoo admission or membership and features 13 enormous animatronic bugs that will amaze and educate guests in fun and unique ways. This is giving us very fun Ant-Man meets A Bug’s Life vibes.

BUGTOPIA enables guests to glimpse into the world from a bug’s perspective, delight in their bizarre beauty, and reflect on what we can learn from their brilliant behaviors. Roles will be reversed as guests venture into a bug’s world where they will find themselves looking up into the eyes of a larger-than-life Mexican red knee tarantula or at the tail of a mighty Emperor scorpion looming more than 10 feet in the air.


A giant animatronic scorpion set in the woods

Giant bugs are coming to ZooTampa

Zoo members can enjoy special previews of BUGTOPIA on Friday, February 24, from 9:30am-5pm, Saturday, February 25, from 9am-12pm, and Sunday, February 26, from 9am-12pm.

“Bugs are fascinating creatures, and we’re proud to be able to share them with guests of all ages in BUGTOPIA,” said Chief Operating Office Scott Rose. “This exhibit is full of enormous animatronic bugs and insects that show what these animals look like close-up and how they’ve perfectly adapted to the world around them—our guests will never look at bugs the same way again.”

A giant animatronic lady bug on a leaf

In addition to all the buzz from BUGTOPIA, the Zoo kicks off its extended springtime hours! The week of March 11 through March 19, 2023, guests can enjoy the Zoo from 9:30am-7pm. During the months of March and April, the Zoo will stay open until 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays.


ZooTampa is also set to undergo a $125 million renovation that would create a new river connection to the facility from downtown and Tampa Heights.

ZooTampa, 1101 W Sligh Ave

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