A visit to the Austin Zoo is a lovely way to spend an afternoon with your family and help support a good cause. The zoo is a non-profit animal sanctuary and rescue facility located in southwestern Travis County just off of Highway 290 at Circle Drive. The address is 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, TX, 78736.
The Austin Zoo states its mission is assisting animals that are in need by providing rescue, rehabilitation, and education. This Hill Country establishment offers a chance for visitors from around the globe to get up close to animals, learn about wild animal rescue and care, get some outdoor exercise, and spend quality time with family and friends.
The Austin Zoo got its start as a goat ranch. By 1990 the ranch took on the name Good Day Ranch and was taking in several kinds of animals that needed homes. Goats, pigs, deer, donkeys, and ponies made up most of the residents. By 1994 the ranch expanded and started taking in exotic animals in need. At that time, the ranch officially transitioned into the Austin Zoo. The owners made the decision to transition the zoo into a 501(3)(c) nonprofit corporation in 1999. Since then, the zoo has been operated by a Board of Directors. The zoo now relies on donations, ticket and gift shop sales, sponsorships, and fundraising events to maintain the animal population.
The zoo is home to over 300 animals of over 100 different species. The facility takes in animals from other places that are being retired, rescued from animal cruelty situations, former laboratory research animals, and personal exotic pets. The zoo encompasses 15 acres of land with room for expansion. Each year the zoo welcomes over 230,000 visitors.
When visiting the zoo, it is best to wear closed-toed shoes as the trails are not paved. There are no water fountains on site, so bring plenty of water. Beverages and food are also available for sale on the grounds. Strollers are available for rent. There is no smoking allowed on the grounds. No pets may be brought onto the zoo grounds. Feed for goats, deer, llamas, and sheep is available in the gift shop. There are additional fees for some of the attractions within the zoo grounds. Major credit cards and cash are accepted throughout the facilities. Parking at the Austin Zoo is free.