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About the Zoo

Mission
The Gladys Porter Zoo is a visitor-oriented zoological and botanical park, dedicated to the preservation of nature through education, conservation and research.

History
The Gladys Porter Zoo opened to the public on September 3, 1971. The facility was completely planned, built, stocked, equipped and then given to the City of Brownsville by the Earl C. Sams Foundation.

Attendance
An average of 375,000 local people and tourists visit the Zoo annually, with an attendance exceeding 400,000 in the year 2001.

Size
The Gladys Porter Zoo is located on 31-acres in central Brownsville, Texas. Additional Zoo facilities include: Administrative office, Education building, four concession stands, gift shop, maintenance facilities, animal diet kitchen, clinic and off-display breeding areas.

Ownership
The Gladys Porter Zoo is owned by the City of Brownsville and is operated by the Board of Directors of the Valley Zoological Society. The Board of Directors is comprised of approximately 100 individuals who set Zoo policies and oversee that they are carried out in the best interest of the Gladys Porter Zoo and the purpose for which it was founded.

Affiliation
Gladys Porter Zoo has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 1978.

Address, Telephone & Fax
500 Ringgold Street
Brownsville, Texas 78520
Telephone (Information Recording): (956) 546-2177
Administrative Office: (956) 546-7187
Education Department: (956) 548-WILD (9453)

Hours
Open every day of the year from 9:00a.m. until 5:00p.m. with extended summer hours.

Admission
Adults: $10
Children: (2-13 years): $7
Seniors: $8.50
Children under 2 years are admitted free

Group Rates
Gladys Porter Zoo offers group rates for large parties. Contact the Office Coordinator at (956) 546-7187 to schedule your group.

School Rates
Gladys Porter Zoo offers special discounted admission rates to schools. Only school groups that are part of a state accredited school or licensed preschool are eligible for the school rates. View our school rates and special programs for school groups on our Education page.