Tour De Tampa: Former Knoxville Resident Living Large in Tampa

By  | 

Tampa, FL (WVLT) - This week, the Vols are gearing up for Monday's Outback Bowl, and that means many of you will be heading down to Tampa to join them.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb continues his "Tour De Tampa", by taking you to the Lowry Park Zoo where he found a Knoxville connection.

With 1,800 animals, the Lowry Park Zoo likes to see itself as the 'More To Do Zoo'.

"Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo was named the number one zoo for families two years ago by Child Magazine," says Rachel Nelson, from the Lowry Park Zoo.

With its natural backgrounds, it's a big hit with visitors.

"Really appreciate the way the zoos these days are making the compounds these days more native to where the animals come from and seeing them moving free," says zoo visitor Judith Adamski.

But the Lowry Zoo has a Knoxville connection in its African Safari.

"Ellie the elephant," says Nelson. "She is an adult female elephant. She is now a one year old mother to one year old Tamani. She lived at the Knoxville zoo for a few years in the early 2000's."

Lowry Park Zoo is more than just a place which showcases animals, it's a learning center.

"We have educational shows. We have water play areas and restaurants so we really have a little bit of something for whatever you like to do," Nelson says.

Not to mention, it's host to the only not for profit manatee hospital called the Florida Manatee and Aquatic Center.

"We help rehabilitate them and we release them just as soon as we can back into their native waters," Nelson says.

And through Saturday you'll also find some fun things for kids from 6 to 9 pm as part of their Wild Wonderland.

"You can get special appearances with penguins, even possibly a photo opportunity. We have six reindeer visiting from the North Pole," Nelson says.

And there's another benefit for some Vols fans heading to the Lowry Park Zoo.

If you are an annual member of the Knoxville Zoo, you can get in to the one in Tampa for free.

In Part 4 of our Tour De Tampa, Stephen takes you out for a night on the town, taking in sights like the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino and Ybor City.