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Upper Valley Appreciation Days - Friday – Sunday, October 10th, 11th & 12th

All residents living in the Upper Valley will be able to visit the Zoo for the special admission price of $3.00 for adults (ages 14 and up) and children (ages 2 to 13). The Upper Valley includes: Alamo, Alton, Cantu, Edinburg, Faysville, Granjeno, Hidalgo, La Joya, Las Milpas, Linn, Lopezville, McAllen, McCook, Mission, Palmhurst, Penitas, Pharr, Rio Grande City, San Juan, San Manuel, Sharyland, Sullivan City, Reynosa, Mexico, Donna, Edcouch, Elsa, Hargill, Heidelberg, La Blanca, La Villa, Mercedes, Monte Alto, Nuevo Progresso, Progresso, Relampago, San Carlos, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa and Weslaco.. Residents will need to show proof of residency. Identification such as a driver’s license, utility receipt or school ID will suffice. At least one family member must show proof of residency at the gate.

Upper Valley Appreciation Days will also serve as the raindate for Lower Valley Appreciation Days

Brew at the Zoo – October 4, 2014 / 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Brownsville Beerfest and the Gladys Porter Zoo have joined forces to bring you Brew at the Zoo. Everyone 21 and over is invited to the wildest beer tasting in town from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 4th in the area adjacent to the Patty Gorges Small World. Visitors are invited to taste from variety of Texas craft beers. Brew at the Zoo is a Brownsville Beerfest event and proceeds will benefit the Zoo. Tickets for Brew at the Zoo will be available at the door for $5 for Zoo members and $15 for non-members; this includes a five sampling wristband and Zoo admission.

About the Russell Aquatic Ecology Center

The Russell Aquatic Center at the Gladys Porter Zoo is all about the aquatic habitats of South Texas and the animals and plants that live there. Some of the exhibits feature naturally occurring habitats, such as the open ocean, resacas, sea grass beds and mangroves, while other exhibits display man made habitats such as jetties and piers.

The 30,000 gallon Deep Water Exhibit is the largest exhibit in the Aquatic Center – six feet deep with a footprint of 26 feet by 26 feet. This exhibit will house representatives of the larger marine fish and invertebrates commonly found in the bay and near shore waters, such as red snapper, black drum, sandtrout, sheepshead, spadefish, snook, lookdowns, jacks, orange spotted filefish, pufferfish, giant red hermit crabs and of course everyone's favorite – sharks!

A rehabbed sea turtle on loan from Sea Turtle, Inc. will make the 2,800 gallon Ancient Mariners Exhibit its home. Fish commonly found living in and around South Texas jetties will also make it their home, such as snappers, mullet, pompano, sergeant majors and blennies.

The Freshwater Giants Exhibit will feature the fish, plants and reptiles found in the resacas of South Texas, including alligator gar, spotted gar, Rio Grande cichlids, catfish, bass, softshell turtles and snapping turtles.

Most of the marine habitats in South Texas have sandy or muddy bottoms, however, there are a few rocky reefs such as the 7 ½ Fathom Reef near Corpus Christi. In this exhibit, you will find many of the colorful fish often associated with coral reefs such as angelfish, damselfish, butterflyfish and moray eels.

Fiddler crabs will be displaying their large claws in the 400 gallon Mangrove Exhibit that they will share with terrapins and smaller fish commonly found in mangroves. This includes sheepshead minnows, killifish, cowfish, burrfish and the young of many species including redfish, snappers and jacks.

The open ocean is represented by the Keppel AmFELS Ghostly Jellyfish Exhibit, which features . . . you guessed it . . . moon jellies (and yes, you can call them jellyfish if you prefer – as long as you understand that they are not actually fish!). In addition, a variety of smaller exhibits will be scattered around the Aquatic Center, which will allow us to display animals that tend to get lost in the larger exhibits, such as seahorses, octopus, sea robins, stargazers, live shrimp, crabs and live snails.

And finally, the Stingray Touch Tank, crowning glory of the Aquatic Center, will house a variety of local stingrays, cownose rays, southern rays and Atlantic rays. Visitors will be able to touch these animals. Hopefully, in the near future during designated times, visitors will be able to purchase food to feed the rays once they become acclimated and more comfortable in their surroundings.

The Russell Aquatic Ecology Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. There is no additional fee to enter the center.

Zoofari '14 Committee Accepting Donations for Auction

Zoofari Committee members need your support to make the Zoo’s annual Zoofari fundraiser a success. Donations are being accepted for our live and blackboard auctions. The fundraiser will take place on October 3rd & 4th, 2014. Zoofari is a two-evening affair of fun, food, music and auctions. This year’s proceeds are earmarked to benefit our Patty Gorges Small World.

Discovery Tile Program

Support the Zoo by purchasing a Discovery Tile to recognize or honor a family member or loved one. Every tile purchase supports our cause: completion of our new education building. The South Texas Discovery Center is scheduled to open in 2013. If you need additional information or want to purchase your tile contact the Education Department at educ@gpz.org or (956) 548-9453 ext. 319. Download an order form today.

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For more information, please call (956) 546-7187