2006 It's a Big Hairy Deal Friday, October
6th & Saturday, October 7th
You're invited to a
wild party celebrating the animals at the Gladys Porter
Zoo. Zoofari '06, the Zoo's annual fundraiser, is
a two-evening fling of wild fun with food, drinks,
music and an animal revue. In addition, Zoofari committee
members are excited to announce a new high-tech endeavor
sure to generate a bidding frenzy; Zoofari '06 will
have its first ever online
The online auction will run from September
13, 2006 to October 4, 2006. It gives everyone a chance
to get in on the bidding action. Visit our online
auction to browse, shop, or sign our guestbook
to show your support for the Gladys Porter Zoo. Auction
item donations are still being accepted - simply log
on to the site and click on the "Donate Now"
button. Users can also contribute to Zoofari's success
by using the "Refer a Friend" button on
the auction website. If you aren't the high bidder
when the online auction closes, you still have a chance
to win your favorite item. Place an absentee bid online
or bid in person and enjoy a wild party at the Zoo.
Premiere Night is Friday, and the affair
begins with cocktails and hors'deorves. During the
cocktail hour guests can sip green mamba martinis
from our martini bar. After cocktails, guests will
be served an elegant catered dinner. Premiere Night's
live auction features a dazzling array of items, travel
packages, extravagant jewelry, exclusive party packages
and original artwork.
On Saturday evening the event begins
with a mouth-watering barbecue. Afterwards some 300
auction items will be up for bid in our blackboard
auction. Auction items range from travel opportunities,
jewelry, art, pottery, furniture, toys, clothing and
more! Dance under the stars to live music after the
Valley Zoological Society board members
are also selling raffle tickets at $100 each. Only
400 tickets are being sold. The first place winner
will receive a $10,000 travel package, and second
place will receive a $2,500 travel package.
Proceeds from Zoofari '06 will help support
our mission: the preservation of nature through education,
conservation and research. So, tell your friends,
family, and community.
The highly anticipated event begins at
6:00 p.m. on Friday and gates open at 5:30 p.m. on
Saturday. Premiere tickets (both Friday and Saturday
nights) cost $100 per person for Zoo members, and
$110 per person for non-members. Tickets for Saturday
night only cost $30 for members and $35 for non-members.
A catered dinner is included in the price of the admission
for both nights.
Don't miss our Big Hairy Deal -- Zoofari
Walkabout Grand Opening June 1, 2006
The Gladys Porter Zoo is proud to announce
the opening of our new Indo-Australian Walkabout on
Thursday, June 1, 2006. Our newest exhibit will give
visitors the opportunity to experience the birds within
their own environment; it's fun and educational for
the whole family. Initially, the Walkabout will feature
three species of birds that include parakeets, cockatiels,
and Bali mynahs. Eventually, the exhibit will house
approximately 12 different species of birds all of
which are native to Indonesia or Australia. This will
be the only interactive exhibit allowing our zoo guests
to feed the birds with feeding sticks at designated
times throughout the day. Feeding sticks are available
for purchase at the exhibit gift shop along with other
Australian themed gifts.
The public is invited to our grand opening ceremony
at 9:30 a.m. After a short program and ribbon cutting,
visitors can enjoy refreshments then tour our newest
addition. The event is free to the public with regular
paid admission. Refreshments are limited.
As the Zoo begins to approach its 35th anniversary
(September 3, 2006), we have continued to redevelop
and expand our facility with the construction of our
Herpetarium (1973), Free Flight Aviary (1974), the
Australia Building (1988), Macaw Canyon (1997), Galapagos
Tortoise Yard (2002), and now the Indo-Australian
Bird Walkabout (2006).
Contest to Celebrate the Opening of Our Indo-Australian
The Gladys Porter Zoo
is partnering with Freedom Communications, Inc. newspapers
in the Valley to conduct a coloring contest to celebrate
the opening of our new Indo-Australian Walkabout on
June 1, 2006. We are giving away a fantastic grand
prize; one lucky contestant will win a birthday party
for 25 at the Zoo, a $450 value.
Each newspaper will select 3 first prize
and 3 second prize winners.
First prize winners get a family pack of 4 passes
to the Zoo and four coupons for complimentary feeding
stick for use in the Indo-Australian Walkabout.
Second prize winners get 2 passes and
2 complimentary feeding stick for use in the Indo-Australian
All of the first prize winners from
The Brownsville Herald, Valley Morning Star, Mid Valley
Town Crier and McAllen Monitor will be judged and
a committee of Zoo staff members will select the grand
The winners will be announced at the
Indo-Australian Walkabout Grand Opening Ceremony on
June 1, 2006.
Be on the lookout for your coloring sheet.
If you miss the issue please contact your local media
outlet for a copy.
Herald - Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Morning Star - Friday, May 5, 2006
Valley Town Crier - Wednesday, 3, 2006
Monitor - April 19, 2006
Born at Gladys Porter Zoo
The Gladys Porter Zoo is proud to announce
the birth of two bongo calves. Nine-year old Francis
gave birth to a female calf on January 6, 2006 and
ten-year old Pretzel gave birth to a male calf on
January 20, 2006. Both were sired by Kiro. These births
represent the 46th and 47th births of this large African
forest antelope at the Zoo.
Both bongo were born on exhibit during the late morning;
however, their first hours were very different. Initially,
the newborn female failed to nurse and didn't appear
to be very strong. By the end of the day the mother
grew impatient, so a decision was made by Zoo staff
to remove her to be hand-reared by zookeepers. After
a month of special care, the female calf was reintroduced
to the bongo group on exhibit early this morning.
She will continue to be bottle fed. On the other hand,
the male newborn immediately started to nurse and,
in contrast, was very strong.
Bongo are native to tropical jungles in central and
western Africa. They are shy, elusive animals. Despite
their large size, reddish-brown color and white stripes,
they can easily disappear in the jungle. The elusive
behavior of bongo has made them the subject of African
folklore. The native people believe that if they eat
or touch bongo, they will experience spasms similar
to epileptic seizures.
Gladys Porter Zoo participates in the Species Survival
Plan (SSP) for bongo, sponsored by the American Zoo
and Aquarium Association (AZA). This SSP program is
a cooperative effort among AZA accredited zoos throughout
North America, created to ensure genetic diversity
and manage captive population numbers of the species.
Bongo are listed as an Appendix III species by the
Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES). Although they are not
currently classified as a threatened animal by CITES,
they have been deemed an at-risk species, and their
trade is regulated for conservation purposes.
Come see the newest members of the Gladys Porter Zoo
Porter Zoo offers Winter Texan Walking Tours
December 2005 - Mid-March 2006
Every Monday thru Thursday starting
at approximately 10:30 a.m., members of the Gladys
Porter Zoo Docent Council will offer walking tours
of the 26-acre zoological park. Participants will
be taken on a 2-½ hour energetic and informational
tour of the various animal exhibits. They will also
have an opportunity to ask questions and take a leisure
tour of the park. Visitors can view the Zoo's extensive
collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians,
fishes and invertebrates from most major ecosystems.
Tours are free of charge, weather permitting with
the price of an admission ticket.
Interested participants should call the Zoo office
to check on the scheduled tours. For more information,
contact the Gladys Porter Zoo at (956) 546-7187.
Reveals Name for Baby Gorilla
On December 4, 2005 the publics' big
question, "What is the name of that baby gorilla
on exhibit?" was finally answered. Surrounded
by family, friends and about fifty Zoo visitors, in
front of our Gorilla Island Exhibit, Zoofari live
auction winner John Cowen revealed the name he selected
for our baby gorilla. He announced that the name selected
has a special place in his heart because it is his
daughter's name, Megan. Mr. Cowen joked that it is
a perfect name for a lowland gorilla because the name
Megan originates from the lowlands in Ireland. After
the brief christening everyone enjoyed cake to commemorate
This was only the second time in Gladys Porter Zoo's
history that a gorilla naming opportunity was auctioned
during our annual fundraiser, Zoofari. The bidding
Western lowland gorillas, along with all species of
gorillas, are considered rare and endangered. Therefore,
each birth is significant to conservation of the species.
Texan Discount Day
Wednesday, February 1, 2005
Celebrate Valentine's Day early and bring your sweetie
in for a romantic stroll during our popular, annual
Winter Texan Discount Day. On Wednesday, February
1, Winter Texans can get in the zoo for just $4.50.
Winter Texans must furnish proof of out of state residence.
Gates open at 9:00a.m.
Members of the Gladys Porter Zoo Docent Council will
offer a 2-½ hour walking tour of the 26-acre
zoological park, weather permitting, beginning at
approximately 10:30a.m. Or if you prefer you can take
a relaxing tram ride tour around Zoo grounds for only
$2.00. Tram tours will be operating from 11:00a.m.
to 2:00p.m. After your visit, don't forget to stop
by our gift shop and pick out your sweetie's favorite
stuffed animal for Valentines Day. If you aren't able
to visit us during Winter Texan Discount Day, remember
that seniors always pay a discounted admission of
$7.00 to visit the Zoo.
Open year round, Gladys Porter
Zoo's hours of operation are 9a.m. to 5p.m. Price
of admission is $8.50 for adults (14+), $5.25 for
children (2 to 13) and $7.00 for seniors (65+). Group
rates are also available.