Like supermodels, wild animals are notoriously standoffish, coaxed out of their dens only by chic animal prints or perfume-commercial contracts. See natural beauty up close with today's Groupon to Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary. Choose between the following options:
- For $8, you get admission and bags of animal feed for two guests (up to an $18 value).
- For $16, you get admission and bags of animal feed for four guests (up to a $36 value).
The nonprofit Austin Zoo's dedicated keepers rescue and care for both domestic and exotic animals, providing the creatures with natural Texas habitats and a steady stream of public adoration. More than 300 animals reside within the zoo's grounds, representing more than 100 species and all 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. The walkthrough, taking roughly 90 minutes, carries visitors down winding gravel paths, past lions, tigers, bears, and ruby-slippered emus. Capuchin monkeys and marmosets call high-pitched greetings from treetops as peacocks fan and wave plumage to attract mates and camera lenses. Earn the friendship of goat tribes with provided bags of feed, or challenge sullen llamas to tell their life story in song.
The zoo uses all proceeds from ticket sales and gift shops to care for and rescue more animals, also accepting direct donations to aid in its mission. Customers can also sponsor their favorite animal directly, providing needed food or spending money for use at the gift shop.
Austin Zoo originated as Good Day Ranch in 1990 featuring pony rides and goat-milking demonstrations. Over the next four years, the founders began rescuing exotic animals and evolving into a rescue center, renaming the facility under its current moniker. After becoming a safe haven for more than 350 rescued animals of more than 100 different species, the Austin Zoo began the process of becoming a nonprofit organization, which it completed in 2000. Housed in native Texas Hill Country enclosures, the animals can enjoy real grass and landscaping instead of concrete exhibits or studio apartments. African lions and Bengal tigers stretch out in the big cat habitats while colobus monkeys and a marmoset swing from tree to tree in monkey areas. In addition to wild creatures, the zoo houses domesticated animals such as a miniature donkey, potbellied pigs, and llamas.