Austin Zoo

The Austin Zoo, located on the southwest suburbs of Austin near Highway 290 West and Circle Drive, is a non-profit Hill Country rescue zoo where visitors from all over the world can learn about animals up close, get some exercise, and have fun. It is located in southern unincorporated Travis County, Texas, west of Austin. The zoo has been accredited by the Zoological Association of America.

The mission of the Austin Zoo is to help animals in need via rescue, conservation, and education. The Austin Zoo today has over 300 animals from more than 100 different species, including African Lions, Bengal tigers, cougars, three different monkey species, black bears, ring-tailed lemurs, and porcupines.

Austin Zoo relies on private, corporate, and municipal donations, as well as admission fees, gift shop sales, grants, sponsorships, and other fund-raising initiatives, to ensure the health and well-being of our animal collection. Support also allows us to accept new animals and participate in conservation efforts to save endangered species.

Our animal collection includes animals from other facilities that are being retired due to age, health, or other issues; animals seized in animal cruelty cases; retired laboratory research animals; and individuals’ exotic pets that needed to be re-homed due to changes in the owner’s lifestyle or inability to provide adequate care for these pets.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING

  • The zoo’s paths are made of crushed granite gravel. It is best to wear closed-toed, comfortable walking shoes.
  • The Austin Zoo does not have any water fountains. You are welcome to bring your own beverages and food. Bottled water can also be purchased at our Gift Shop.
  • There is no parking fee. Please don’t leave anything valuable in your car.
  • There are no live animals of any kind allowed on Zoo grounds or in vehicles parked in the parking lot.
  • The Austin Zoo is a no-smoking facility. Please return to our parking lots if you need to smoke.
  • No unaccompanied minors, please. Underage guests must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Animal feed for our sheep, deer, goats, llamas, and alpacas is available in our Feeding Area.
  • The zoo accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and cash for admission.
  • There isn’t one! There aren’t any shoes! There isn’t any service!
  • Please read all limitations and fine print if you purchase entry from a third party.
  • Please keep in mind that some of the creatures may not always be visible in their natural habitats. The safety and happiness of our animals in resident is our top priority at Austin Zoo, as we are a rescue zoo. We do not force our animals to remain outside in the presence of strangers. Animals have the ability to choose to be in their inner den places at any time. There will be no ticket refunds.

The History of the Austin Zoo

The mission of the Austin Zoo is to help animals in need via rescue, conservation, and education.

Austin Zoo, located on Austin’s southwest border along Highway 290 West and Circle Drive, is a beautiful Hill Country zoo where visitors from all over the world can learn about animals up close, get some exercise, and have fun.

Austin Zoo began as a goat pasture. The ranch’s name was changed to Good Day Ranch in 1990, and it began admitting goats, pigs, fallow deer, donkeys, and ponies in need of a home. By 1994, the ranch had grown to include a wide range of exotic species. To reflect all of the improvements, the Good Day Ranch was renamed Austin Zoo. The owners decided in 1999 to turn over the animals and the facilities to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which they did in 2000. The Austin Zoo has been managed by a Board of Directors since that period.

Austin Zoo relies on private, corporate, and municipal donations, as well as admission fees, gift shop sales, grants, sponsorships, and other fund-raising initiatives, to ensure the health and well-being of our animal collection. Support also allows us to accept new animals and participate in conservation efforts to save endangered species.

Our animal collection includes animals from other facilities that are being retired due to age, health, or other issues; animals seized in animal cruelty cases; retired laboratory research animals; and individuals’ exotic pets that needed to be re-homed due to changes in the owner’s lifestyle or inability to provide adequate care for these pets.

Over 237,000 people visit Austin Zoo each year, including tens of thousands of schoolchildren and teachers on field trips.

Austin Zoo today occupies approximately 15 acres of land and owns an additional 40 acres, allowing for future expansion as the Zoo grows.

Exhibits

The Austin Zoo is circular in shape and has both foreign and native animals. Among the notable exhibits are:

  • Aviaries: There are numerous aviary structures located between the bear and huge cat exhibitions. These areas are home to the grey parrot, Amazon parrot, jenday conure, sulphur-crested cockatoo, white umbrella cockatoo, military macaw, blue and gold macaw, and rainbow lorikeet.
  • Lions, cougars, bobcats, and tigers are among the big cats on display. A white tiger named Zulema was introduced in 2020 after being rescued by the DEA.
  • Capybaras and Bears: The central zoo is home to the capybara, American black bear, and fox.
  • Dairy Barn: In this farm animal area, visitors can feed Boer goats, Nigerian dwarf goats, piglets, pygmy goats, and lambs. The barnyard is surrounded by emu, zebra, ostrich, axis deer, and llama habitats.
  • Primate Palace is home to animals such as the capuchin monkey, loris, patas monkey, colobus monkey, and ring-tailed lemur.
  • Tortoise Barn: A big barn and barnyard where you may see the Gal├ípagos tortoise.
  • The railway depot to the east of the park provides rides on a children’s train. This is the American alligator’s natural habitat.
  • Reptile House: An indoor reptile and arachnid habitat.

Land utilization

The Austin Zoo occupies 54 acres of land. The Zoo’s animal collection is currently kept on 16 acres of newly constructed grounds. The additional property will be used to expand the zoo as needs change.

Austin Dog Training

Next Point of Interest: Elisabet Ney Museum