ZooTampa named one of the 10 best zoos in America

An elephant with its trunk raised.
Photo via ZooTampa (Facebook)

It’s another big day for a Tampa institution. Our own ZooTampa, and its Manatee Critical Care Center are in the top 10 for Best Zoo and Best Zoo Exhibit in America. USA TODAY’s 10Best identifies the best of the best across several categories. 

“We are honored to have been recognized in the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards and thank our guests, members, employees and residents for their continued support throughout the voting process,” said President and CEO Joe Couceiro. “Tampa Bay is an award winning city in so many areas and we are proud to add another accolade and point of pride to our amazing community.”


As Florida’s most visited cultural institution, ZooTampa’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and care for animals; create exceptional personalized experiences that connect people with wildlife and each other in fun, immersive ways. The David A Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center, has helped with the rescue, rehabilitation and release of more than 500 sick, injured and orphaned manatees.  

Photo via ZooTampa (Facebook)

ZooTampa has 1 of only 4 federally permitted manatee rehab centers in Florida

The public has until Monday, March 6, to vote online. Each person can vote once per day, per device, and per category every day of the contest. The winners will be announced on the 10Best’s website on Friday, March 17, at 12pm.

The Zoo’s David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center is the first non-profit, acute care facility of its kind specifically dedicated to critical care for wild manatees, and one of just four contracted federally permitted manatee rehabilitation centers in the state of Florida. Since 1991, the manatee care and veterinary team have treated over 400 manatees with more than 230 of those reintroduced into Florida waters.

Photo via ZooTampa (FB)

To enhance animal welfare and expand their mission to save Florida wildlife, ZooTampa recently completed an upgrade to the water filtration system at the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center. This new, upgraded life support system allows us to provide advanced, specialized care for the welfare of manatees and treat even the most severe cases.

Visit ZooTampa’s website to plan your next visit. Follow ZooTampa on Facebook and Instagram.


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