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Gladys Porter Zoo
It has been nearly four decades since the Gladys Porter Zoo opened its doors to the public. While keeping true to its mission of preservation of nature through education, conservation and research, the Zoo recently added three new attractions: the South Texas Botanical Exhibit and Park, Giraffe Landing Feeding Experience and South American Free-Flight Aviary. The South Texas Botanical Exhibit & Park opened in mid-July; it features an enchanted South Texas themed playground landscaped with native plants. The playground is one-of-a-kind, and contains sensational play structures; among them a 22-foot-tall Discovery Tree with multiple slides, a sliding pole, and lots of ADA features. An elevated walkway connects the Discovery Tree to the ClubHouse which features a slide, a talk tube and secret alcove. There is also a Castaway Boat with all the bells and whistles to captivate toddlers. Visitors can also cool off under the refreshing water misters at Martha’s Cove. The Giraffe Landing Feeding Experience opened March of this year. In this new area visitors can get up close and personal with the Zoo’s giraffe herd. Visitors stand on an ADA-accessible platform to provide a safe and meaningful animal feeding opportunity. Giraffe treats are available for purchase for three dollars. Giraffe Landing is open on weekends and special engagements from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather permitting. The South American Free-Flight Aviary exhibit re-opened in April. The aviary contains 18 species of mostly South American birds. A few of the new additions to the Zoo include green aracaris, roseate spoonbills, Peruvian thick-knees and motmots. Of course, visitors will be still able to see some of the birds that were housed in the original exhibit including green-winged macaws, trumpeters and white-cheeked turacos. Most of the birds will be flying free within the main aviary, while some birds are housed in smaller quarters toward the back of the exhibit. The aviary closed in 2008 for renovations. While the shell of the building remains the same, the interior was extensively remodeled. It now includes three water features as well as additional perching areas for the birds. The Zoo is open 365 days a year. Its hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.gpz.org, follow them on Facebook / Twitter or contact the Zoo at (956) 546-7187.

Gladys Porter Zoo
Dr. Patrick M. Burchfield
500 Ringgold
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 546-2177
(956) 546-7187

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