$5 Day at Lowry Park Zoo

aka: “Are the real animals the ones on the path or behind the cage?”

   Twice a year, local Tampa attraction, the Lowry Park Zoo, bombs its admission from $18.95 to just $5.00. Because I have never visited, I thought this was the perfect time for a poor college student like me to go. “Um Pyra? Don’t you already work at a theme park with a huge zoo?” Heck no!… I mean, yes! But just because you’ve seen a tiger in one place doesn’t mean you’ve seen them all.

On discounted days like this:

– expect the entire city of Tampa to be at the zoo with you.

– if you come two hours after opening, expect to park about three streets away and walk all the way to the entrance.

– PLEASE, please don’t complain out loud about how busy it is. That’s rude, and your own body mass is contributing to the crowds on the path.

– PLEASE be respectful of other tourists. Most of the paths in the zoo were not made for crowds to ogle an attraction. After you’ve had your eyes filled, move on.

   No, I did not have a poor experience today. Rather, I wrote the above after seeing / hearing the annoyances of some people.

   Lowry Park Zoo is divided into eight main segments featuring a group of animals. The animals range from meerkats and penguins to bald eagles and bears. Habitats were as small as tanks for poisonous frogs, to cages as big as my bedroom for monkeys, to large, open land for the tigers. Lush trees surrounded the clean walkways. Busch Gardens, Lowry could give you a run for your zoo money. Some of the land segments were even decorated according to a theme such as Africa or Asia. I admit some habitats appeared rather small for the creatures inside, but I’m not a zoologists who knows how animals feel.

   The few rides in the zoo are not included with admission, and it’s all relatively calm rides. Another feature not included is the option of feeding the animals. I am a sucker for feeding anything! (and anyone!) But… AHHH! What the heck? That stingray bit me hard enough to draw blood while I was feeding it a dead fish. Those rays in Seaworld never bit me. On the other hand, the goats licked my hand in their never-ending quest for food pellets. The koi fish just ignored the food I threw at them. The best animals? I paid my $2 to feed a cracker to a giraffe. That creature extended its adorable, snake-like neck towards my hand and stuck out its tongue. My fingers grazed against tongue– it felt like sand paper! But when my hands were empty and I tried to pet it, the giraffe jerked away. It knew when I had food.

I totally recommend this place to families. Kids will love the large variety of animals. Teens… eh, maybe not so much. I’d even pay the full $18.95 for it someday. Yea, Lowry Park Zoo was well-made.

Click on my pictures to see my trip.

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