TAMPA, Fla. — A new educational installation at ZooTampa at Lowry Park was unveiled Tuesday to help guests better understand the wildlife in Florida and protect the state's native species.
The latest feature will also let visitors know how they can co-exist with the diverse species in the Florida Wildlife Corridor and what they need to survive and thrive, the zoo said in a news release.
"I am beyond grateful to our amazing partners and the team at ZooTampa in helping us find unique ways to highlight the vital role the Florida Wildlife Corridor plays in our state’s ecology and economy," Mallory Dimmitt, chief executive officer at the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, said in a statement. "Tampa Bay is growing rapidly and it is our hope that by partnering with ZooTampa we will be able to emphasize the importance of conserving and connecting the Corridor today because, once lost, the lands are gone forever."
The installation was revealed at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the zoo says that tours for people to see the installation will be offered through February.
"The Florida Wildlife Corridor installation does just that through impactful visuals and connecting Tampa to the Florida Wildlife Corridor as a whole," Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement. "We are honored to be included in this statewide effort as we celebrate the Corridor and foster Corridor Pride."
The Florida Wildlife Corridor is a statewide network of almost 18 million acres of land and water. The installation will also teach the importance of conserving and protecting the corridor so that animals can hunt, breed and maintain genetic diversity.
"We always aim to redefine what a zoo can be with beautiful and immersive habitats, compelling guest experiences, and an unyielding commitment to saving wildlife," Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, ZooTampa’s senior vice president of animal health, conservation, and education, said in a statement. "This new installation will help educate the more than 1.2 million local residents and visitors who visit the Zoo to experience and learn about our state’s ecosystem and diverse wildlife."