Today's Groupon is crawling with iguanas, hung with marmoset monkeys, and topped with a warm Bengal tiger. Join the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary for $25 (that's half off the regular $50 yearly membership). The Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit devoted to rescuing animals and serving the Austin community more than 200 Italian sorbets. An individual annual membership includes unlimited visits for one year from the day you get your Groupon and a 10% discount at the gift shop.
The world's cuddlesome creatures have soft fur and are easily overpowered with tranquilizer guns, so sticking up for them is more than enough cause to visit the zoo. The mission of Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is to rescue animals, rehabilitate them, and educate them about the finer things in life including caviar, peacock feathers, and avoiding tranquilizer guns. The number of animals in need is growing, according to the zoo, because of the popularity of exotic pets and roadside zoos.
The Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is small, so you don't have to fight crowds to get close to the animals. Plus, the friendly and knowledgeable staff is always on hand to answer questions and share interesting facts about the Texas rat snake, albino corn snake, and snake snake. The zoo currently has more than 300 animals of more than 100 different species. It's a wondrous wrigglebin for kids since it has a petting zoo where you can feed goats and pet the finger-friendly fur of domestic critters (children's admission is just $5). It's fun to frequently visit the Austin Zoo, since it's always rescuing and rehabilitating new destitutes; it recently acquired four wolf hybrids that were abandoned by their owner during Hurricane Ike.
- I loved it. It's small, not crowded and peaceful. – Lpeterso15, TripAdvisor
- I watched my three year old feed gentle, adorable Axis deer by hand and run in circles, in a fit of delirious excitement, screaming DEER! DEER! DEER!...That, in and of itself, was worth the price of admission. – Anna G., Yelp
- Give this place a chance. They are saving LIVES here! Really, it does have some great animals to look at. – allison j., Yelp
E is For Extinction
The Austin Zoo is a non-profit sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of species, endangered and otherwise. Unfortunately, throughout history, many species have been forever lost to extinction. Here are just a few and the events behind their disappearances:
- The Sea Mink (1894): Hunted to extinction when pineal gland believed to relieve tummy-aches.
- Japanese Wolf (1889): Having imparted all its knowledge upon mankind, returned to wolven kingdom beyond The Great Sea.
- Dodo (1662): Didn’t know when to leave well enough alone.
- Desert Bandicoot (1943): Dominant "coot" genes auto-devour recessive "bandi" genes. Evolved to collect newspapers, yell at neighborhood children.
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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 300 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.