A couple weeks ago my fiancée and I went to the Austin Zoo using a deal I got online for two peoples entry for $9. It was extremely hot that day, about 100 with hardly any clouds in the sky, but luckily for us the Austin Zoo isn’t very big and so we only spent about 2 hours out in that heat. Although a small zoo, three things really impressed me:
1) All the animals are rescue animals. Some of the wolves were actually Husky-wolf hybrids that stupid people owned but couldn’t take care of. One was found abandoned chained to a trailer here in Texas. Sometimes I feel bad for animals that are caged up in zoos but knowing these guys are all rescue animals and would probably be dead if they hadn’t been brought to the Austin zoo changes that for me.
2) They have a lot of Tigers, about 5-6 of them. In fact in my opinion this is the best zoo for seeing Tigers (and that’s even comparing to well-known zoos like San Diego). Usually Tigers are divided from zoo-goers by a moat and when it’s hot they hide out in a distant corner where there’s shade. Not at the Austin zoo. There is not moat, and so the boundary of the fence is only about 5 feet from the wooden edge where you can stand to watch them. And when we went, the Tigers were walking around right in front of us. Actually, we were lucky and happened to be there during their feeding time, and I thought it was so cool to see the Tigers being fed. They acted just like little cats do all trying to be first to get their ‘snack’, except that they weigh upwards of 500lbs.
3) You can feed some of the animals. For $4 for a bag of feed, you can feed the deer, goats and llamas. It’s like a petting zoo section and I like that you get to be interactive with the animals.
All in all a great little zoo. I actually enjoy the size because at huge zoos towards the end of your visit you’re usually tired and wanting to leave but feeling like you didn’t get to see everything yet. It’s a nice zoo that keeps true to Austin’s save-the-planet and the animals-type attitude.