Admission:
$7.00 for Adults (ages 13-59)
$6.00 for Seniors (ages 60+)
$4.50 for children (ages 3-12)
Children under 3 free!

Hours:
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Last admittance at 4 p.m.
Every Thurs. June–August, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Last admittance at 8 p.m.

Contact:
2070 Zoo Lane, Abilene, TX
(325) 676-6085
abilene.zoo@abilenetx.com

Zoo News

Zoo News — Summer 2017 New!!

Zoo News Spring 2017

Zoo News Winter 2017

Direct all media inquiries to:
Kelly Langford Thompson
Marketing & Development Coordinator
2070 Zoo Lane
Abilene, Texas 79602
325-437-4692
Kelly.thompson@abilenetx.com

Recent Announcements:

Zoo Happy to Announce Giraffe Pregnancies X3

ABILENE, TEXAS – It’s a first for Abilene’s No. 1 attraction. After celebrating the birth of a healthy male in September, the zoo is excited to announce that three giraffe expect calves this fall.  The matriarch of the herd, 19-year-old Asha, appears to be the farthest along in the 15-month gestation period and may give birth as early as September. This is a second pregnancy for Asha, who calved in 2002.

Lions Club to Open Wetlands Viewing Deck

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Founder Lions Club will cut the ribbon Friday to open the club’s centennial legacy project: a new Wetlands Viewing Deck at the Abilene Zoo. Everyone is invited to see the opening ceremony June 9, at 11 a.m., in the zoo’s Wetlands of Americas area. The deck dedication celebrates the 100th anniversary of both the Abilene Founder Lions Club and Lions Club International, both launched in 1917. It also marks the unveiling of the zoo’s refurbished Wetlands of the Americas, featuring a new home for the zoo’s sand hill cranes and a temporary home for the lesser flamingos.

Jaguar Escape Investigation Results

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo’s staff team has concluded an investigation of the zoo’s jaguar enclosure and believes they have discovered the most likely chain of events that occurred the morning of May 15. Staff from the veterinary, animal care, and maintenance departments joined forces to research the details, create a timeline, and examine the cats’ living quarters looking for clues. “It has been determined that the escape began when the animal scaled a 12-foot-tall artificial rock wall and forced her way under the cable and netting top,” said Director Bill Gersonde. “She gained access to a crawl space between that rock wall and a cinderblock wall, scaled the cinderblock wall and forced her way out of an approximate 8-inch gap between that wall and the exhibit mesh top.”

Zoo team to investigate jaguar incident

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo has assembled a team to investigate the jaguar enclosure and create a timeline for the incident that occurred in the early morning hours Monday, May 8. Staff from the veterinary, animal care, and maintenance departments have joined forces to research the details. The two jaguars, Luna and Estrella, remain in their behind-the-scenes holding area, where they will stay until the zoo staff is confident the animals’ enclosure is secure.

Zoo Director Statement About Jaguar Escape:

Bill Gersonde, Executive Director Abilene Zoo, Statement:  At approximately 8:10 a.m. this morning animal care staff discovered a two-year-old jaguar had escaped its enclosure and was lying on top of the adjacent spider monkey exhibit. Staff called an animal escape code over the zoo radios with both veterinary staff members and members of the zoo firearms team responding. The animal was darted by the zoo veterinarian at approximately 8:19 a.m. and was secured in its exhibit at approximately 8:50 a.m.

Peccary dies after cancer diagnosis

ABILENE, TEXAS – Guests may notice some different residents among the native species in the zoo’s “Elm Creek Backyard” section. The zoo lost its Chacoan Peccary to cancer this week, vacating the large enclosure across from the cougars. “It’s always difficult for us to lose an animal, but we strive to do what’s best in each situation,” said Executive Director Bill Gersonde. “We can’t let the animal live in discomfort. Euthanasia was the kindest option.”

Spring Break Breaks Records

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo was hopping during spring break 2017, setting an attendance record that topples totals from at least a decade. More than 24,600 people visited the zoo between Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 19. Abilene Zoo members accounted for 2,950 of those visitors, and the busiest day of the week was Wednesday, March 15, when 3,836 people visited the zoo – a one day attendance record during spring break.

Abilene Zoo breaks attendance record:  Guests vote Ocelot conservation as favorite cause

 ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo’s 50th year won the gold.  More than 249,600 guests visited the zoological gardens in fiscal 2016, setting an all-time record for annual attendance and bringing almost 33,000 more guests than the previous year. Certainly, the long-awaited Giraffe Safari opening in late April was a driving force for visitors, along with the zoo’s 50th anniversary celebrations and the recent birth of a giraffe calf.

Boo at the Zoo advance tickets on sale

ABILENE, TEXAS – Advance tickets now are on sale for the Abilene Zoo’s biggest event of the year: Boo at the Zoo. The popular Halloween party will take place Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Businesses, churches and clubs will host treat stops around the zoo, allowing little ghosts and goblins to gather goodies throughout the grounds. Costume contests will take place in the pavilion every 30 minutes, while judges also will award prizes to the best treat stop displays.

Medical exam says giraffe calf is thriving

ABILENE, TEXAS – The giraffe calf born Saturday at the Abilene Zoo is thriving, while first-time mom, Punk, has taken to her role like a pro. Zoo keepers are keeping a close eye on the pair as they bond, knowing that the first weeks are a challenging time for any newborn. So far, they like what they see. “He’s a curious, rambunctious boy and a healthy eater,” said Dr. Stephanie Carle, the zoo’s tired veterinarian. “He nurses with such gusto that everyone can hear him slurping and suckling. It’s music to our ears.”

Zoo welcomes giraffe calf

ABILENE, TEXAS – Following months of anticipation, the Abilene Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a healthy male giraffe calf to first-time mom, Punk, Saturday, Sept. 10. “Labor started at about 3 p.m., and the calf arrived at 4:56 p.m.,” said Zoo Director Bill Gersonde. “The calf stood and began nursing approximately one hour later.”  Zoo staff were on hand to assist if necessary, but labor and delivery occurred without complication in an off-exhibit yard in the zoo’s new Giraffe Safari.

Tickets on Sale for Golden Zoobilation

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoological Society will wrap up a year of wild celebration with a party: Golden Zoobilation: Brews & Barbeques. Set for the evening of Saturday, Sept. 24, Golden Zoobilation will mark the Abilene Zoo’s 50th anniversary with dining and dancing among the beasts, as well as a tribute to longtime AZS member Donald McDonald, who has served on the board since 1965. With that in mind, Zoobilation Chairman Thora Sutton and her committee are going all out to create a memorable evening for a herd of safari chic-clad guests.

50th Anniversary & MusicFest

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo will celebrate its golden anniversary July 9 by saving parents a little gold. Children ages 12 and younger will get in the gate for only a dime, just as they did on opening day in July 1966. The zoo’s 50th Anniversary and MusicFest will celebrate decades of making memories with a full day of musical performances, along with zoo keeper chats, an alligator bounce house, special guests, and even some highlights from the zoo’s history.

World Giraffe Day celebration June 25

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo will celebrate World Giraffe Day, Saturday, June 25, with giraffe-themed activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the new Giraffe Safari area. Giraffe keeper chats are scheduled at 11 and 3 p.m., and, word is, the animals also will get in on the fun.

Dads get in free for Father’s Day

ABILENE, TEXAS – Celebrate fatherhood with free admission for dad this Sunday at the Abilene Zoo. All fathers will get in free with a paying child, even grown children, on Father’s Day, June 19. The first 100 fathers through the gate will receive a coupon for a family value pack at Abilene’s Cold Stone Creamery location.

Zoo’s longtime female giraffe is pregnant

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo staff is excited to announce that Punk, one of its longtime reticulated giraffe, is pregnant. Punk has interacted with zoo guests since arriving from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in 2003. The pregnancy is the first for the 16-year-old animal. The father is Mesi, the Rothschild giraffe bull who joined the herd in fall 2014.

Get Out and Play Day

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo will kick off summer break by celebrating the great outdoors Saturday, May, 28, with Get Out and Play day. Special guests from the Big Country Master Gardeners, Big Country Master Naturalists and Texas Park & Wildlife will offer hands-on activities between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Zoo mourns loss of elder maned wolf

ABILENE, TEXAS — The Abilene Zoo’s adult maned wolf has died after a life helping to ensure the survival of his threatened species. Named Cerrado to reflect the animal’s South American heritage, the canid had shown signs of deteriorating health recently and was being treated to decrease suspected inflammation in the brain.

Zoo welcomes new monkey species

ABILENE, TEXAS – Zoo fans may hear some wild new sounds in the park this week as the zoo welcomes a troop of howler monkeys. The family of four is now on exhibit after arriving from the Cleveland Zoo earlier this month. Black howler monkeys are an endangered species native to Latin America, and this troop is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plans, conservation programs that maintain healthy populations of vulnerable animals to help prevent extinction.

Giraffe Safari Ribbon-Cutting April 23

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo will open the new $3.8 million, multispecies Giraffe Safari exhibit Saturday, April 23, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. “Feeding giraffe is among our visitors’ most memorable experiences,” said Executive Director Bill Gersonde. “We think people will embrace the new setting. It’s healthier for the animals and more fun for the guests.”

Voters choose name for baby giraffe

ABILENE, Texas – The voters have spoken, and they’re keen on “Kito.”  The Swahili name means “precious gem,” and it was the top pick by a wide margin in the zoo’s recent naming contest for the baby giraffe. Seven-year-old Parker Miller-Ienatsch from Odessa, Texas, won the contest and will get to meet the young giraffe this weekend as his prize. His name was drawn from all of the ballots submitted for the winning name.

Two new giraffe join the herd

ABILENE, TEXAS – More giraffe have joined the herd at the Abilene Zoo, and guests could get a peek at the new animals soon. Two adult females, Sunny and Jamie, moved to Abilene from the Dallas Zoo Feb. 29 and slowly have been introduced to Abilene’s other giraffe.

Zoo celebrates snakes Saturday

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo will salute slithery serpents Saturday, March 12, with a Snake Celebration Day at the Reptile House. Activities kick off at 10:30 a.m. and will include green mamba and king cobra feeding demonstrations, as well as a zoo keeper chat about rattlesnakes and chance to safely see the animals up close.

Public invited to help name baby giraffe

ABILENE, Texas – The Abilene Zoo invites everyone to help name the new giraffe calf that recently joined the herd. One winner from the naming contest will receive a private meet-and-greet with the baby. The zoo staff selected three names for consideration; each one is in Swahili to reflect the animal’s native heritage.

New wheelchair friendly train hits tracks

ABILENE, Texas – The Abilene Zoo’s new wheelchair-accessible train is making tracks around the zoo this weekend. “All of our guests will enjoy the new train’s roomier seating areas, but the caboose is what’s special,” said Executive Director Bill Gersonde. “It opens up to allow a wheelchair to roll right in.”

Zoo welcomes jaguar sisters

ABILENE, Texas – The Abilene Zoo staff is over the moon to show off two new stars: a pair of jaguars named Luna and Estrella. The nine-month-old sisters recently came to Abilene from the Fort Worth Zoo, where they were born in May. The two cats were introduced to the lair Monday and cautiously have been exploring their new home.

Baby giraffe joins herd

ABILENE, Texas – He wasn’t born in Abilene, but he got here as fast as he could. A month-old giraffe calf has arrived at the Abilene Zoo – just in time to join the animals in the soon-to-open Giraffe Safari exhibit. A lucky turn of events brought him to town.

Zoo mourns loss of popular jaguar

ABILENE, Texas – The Abilene Zoo’s jaguar was euthanized yesterday in response to his mounting health problems related to old age. “He let us know it was time,” said Dr. Stephanie Carle, the zoo’s veterinarian. “He stopped eating and became lethargic. We knew his kidney disease was already quite advanced, and we didn’t want him to suffer.” Wailer was among the oldest known jaguars living in captivity.

Jaguar diagnosed with kidney disease

ABILENE, Texas – The Abilene Zoo’s jaguar has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and zoo staffers are working hard to ensure that the animal’s last days are comfortable. Wailer the jaguar has been a favorite of zoo goers for more than 20 years. He was born on Feb. 24, 1995, at the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, and moved to Abilene that October.

Zoo to host volunteer meetings

ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Zoo is looking for nature-lovers with time and talents to share. People interested in volunteering at the zoo can attend informational meetings Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. or Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the zoo’s administrative building.

Bird rehabilitation program releases wild owls

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo’s wild bird rehabilitation program has experienced an increase in young or injured birds brought in for help this year, causing staff to look for creative ways to handle the high numbers. The program treated more than 300 birds in 2015; twenty-eight of those were owls of various species. Last year, the zoo program rescued 284 animals; only 11of those were owls.

Breakfast with Santa a holiday favorite

ABILENE, TEXAS – Tickets now are on sale for the Abilene Zoo’s popular Breakfast with Santa holiday parties. Breakfast with Santa is set for two Saturdays: Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. Each day offers two breakfast times: 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Guests will enjoy a continental breakfast, holiday craft, photo with Santa and admission to the zoo. Cost for the event is $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3 to 12, and $5 for those 2 and younger.

Giraffe Safari exhibit delayed until spring

ABILENE, TEXAS – The opening of the new Giraffe Safari exhibit at The Abilene Zoo has been delayed until April. “We know people are eager to see this amazing new exhibit open. We are, too,” said Executive Director Bill Gersonde. “But we have to be cautious when animals are introduced to new facilities.”  The wet weather this year and construction delays have set the $3.8 million project behind schedule.

Boo at the Zoo draws more than 5,000 despite the rain

ABILENE, TEXAS – More than 5,000 people donned creative costumes, happy faces, and fun attitudes to make Boo at the Zoo Saturday a wild success. Event organizers scrambled at the last minute to adjust to the deluge of rain that hit the Big Country last week, ditching a hay bale maze and moving the treat stops inside the zoo’s administration building.

Abilene Zoo launches Quarters for Conservation program

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo has a new initiative to teach guests about supporting animal conservation. This weekend the Abilene Zoo will launch Quarters for Conservation, donating 25 cents from every zoo admission to species conservation projects. In turn, each guest at the gate will receive a metal washer that symbolizes this donation, and they can vote for one of three animal projects by dropping the washer in a vortex wishing well at a conservation kiosk.

New Prairie Dog colony now on exhibit

ABILENE, TEXAS – After several weeks of renovations, the prairie dog exhibit at the Abilene Zoo is once again filled with the activity of these energetic rodents. Eight new animals from the El Paso Zoo, ranging in age from five years old to less than a year were added to the exhibit. To prepare for their arrival, zoo keepers created some man-made tunnels and sleeping dens. New signage that includes information about prairie dog colonies in the wild also was added.

Boo at the Zoo Oct. 24 to feature longer hours, more fun

ABILENE, TEXAS – Boo at the Zoo — the Abilene Zoo’s biggest event of the year – will take place Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year the Halloween party at the zoo is opening two hours earlier to accommodate more activities and ease crowding. Last year’s event brought in record attendance, with 9350 people in the zoo that day, so this year’s Boo at the Zoo Committee is prepared for large crowds – adding a Trick or Treat Fun Town in a large area near the old zoo entrance for treat stops, games and crafts.

Abilene Zoo mourns death of Boris the Bear

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo is saddened to announce the death of one of its North American Black Bears, Boris. Boris was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in June and immediately began treatment for the disease. Recently, however, the disease had advanced, causing the animal discomfort as his heart failed.

Zoo sad to announce death of Mocco the sloth

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo has lost a member of its animal family. “Mocco,” a Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth that delighted guests in the zoo’s Caribbean Cove section, died Saturday of a gastrointestinal infection.

Zoo to feed alligator each Sunday in September

ABILENE, TEXAS –Albert the Alligator is getting ready for winter, and that means eating hearty meals. Guests can watch the 14-foot-long reptile devour a carnivorous dinner every Sunday at 3 p.m. through the month of September– or until the alligator or weather decides it’s time to for him to start his “brumation.”

Endangered Species Day last Exploration Day of the season

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, Aug. 8, will be the last Exploration Day of the summer at the Abilene Zoo! This month’s theme is Endangered Species Day, and activities will focus around some endangered animals in the zoo’s collection. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Abilene Zoo’s Zoo Teens will offer a slate of outdoor hands-on activities centered around conservation for snakes, frogs and the black rhino.

Camel Encounters offered daily at 2

ABILENE, TEXAS – Abilene Zoo guests are getting a hands-on adventure this summer at zoo keeper chats with the zoo’s two new camels at 2 p.m. every day. Zoo keepers have trained the duo of dromedary camels to “cush,” a safe kind of kneeling that allows zoo guests to come up and pet the camels.  The zoo keepers give an educational talk first, then allow guests to line up and pet a camel.

Zoo celebrates new flamingo chicks

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo is proud to announce the addition of three new flamingo chicks that hatched earlier in the week. “The parents are doing a great job caring for the chicks,” said Abilene Zoo Executive Director Bill Gersonde. “Lucky guests might be able to catch a look at the young when the parents stand to feed the chicks or as the chicks begin to wander off the nest over the next few days.”

Teddy Bear Day Saturday — kids get in free with a stuffed animal

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, July 11, will be Teddy Bear Day at the Abilene Zoo, when children ages 13 and younger get in free if they bring along their favorite plush bear or other animal. Children also can purchase a new stuffed toy to love at the Zoo Store, and then use that animal toward free admission.

Zoo adds Wildlife Carousel, Karibu Outpost

ABILENE, TEXAS – The zoo is opening two new attractions for the holiday weekend. The long-awaited Wildlife Carousel officially will open Saturday, July 4, offering zoo guests a chance to ride the merry-go-round animal of their choice on the city’s first permanent carousel. Also opening for the holiday weekend is a new exhibit and party space: Karibu Outpost.

Celebrate World Giraffe Day Saturday

ABILENE, TEXAS – Even though the Abilene Zoo’s giraffes are currently off exhibit, the park will join other zoos across the world to celebrate World Giraffe Day, Saturday, June 20. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, the zoo will offer plenty of hands on educational displays, games, crafts, and more. The activities are free with regular zoo admission.

Dads to get in free with child on Father’s Day

ABILENE, TEXAS – Celebrate dad this Sunday with a family trip to the Abilene Zoo. All fathers will get in free with a paying child, even grown children, on Father’s Day, June 21. The first 100 fathers through the gate will receive a coupon for a family value pack at Abilene’s Cold Stone Creamery location.

Thursday, June 4, is first Sunset Safari of the Summer

ABILENE, TEXAS –Sunset Safari starts this week at the Abilene Zoo. During the months of June, July and August, the zoo stays open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays with last admittance at 8 p.m. Sunset Safari allows guests to see active zoo animals during the cooler evenings of hot summer days.

Saturday is Get Out and Play Day

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, May 30, will be the first day of school break, and the zoo is celebrating with a big Exploration Day: Get Out and Play Day. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Abilene Zoo’s staff and guest organizations will offer a slate of outdoor activities and ideas for summer. One group will give away free bicycle helmets while supplies last, while other groups will provide games and educational pursuits. The zoo also will open its new fresh lemonade stand this weekend.

Abilene participates in national SAFE day by “vanishing’ black rhino

ABILENE, TEXAS – May 15, 2015 – Today is the 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day, and to highlight the growing importance of working on saving endangered species from extinction, The Abilene Zoo will have an endangered animal “vanish” from his exhibit.

Zoolute to Dyess honors military with free day, food and fun

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo will honor active and retired military families with a free day of food and fun on Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will be the 11th year of the zoo’s popular Zoolute to Dyess, an annual event that always coincides with National Armed Forces Day, a holiday when people all over the country pay tribute to men and women who serve the U.S. armed forces.

Celebrate Mom Sunday at the Zoo

ABILENE, TEXAS – Celebrate mothers this Sunday at the Abilene Zoo!  Bring Mom this Sunday, May 10, to celebrate her special day.  All mothers with a paying child, even grown children, will be admitted free.  What’s more, the first 100 mothers through the gate will receive a flower to commemorate the occasion.

Abilene Zoo to host all-day Music Fest

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo will host a full slate of Abilene’s musical talent at an all-day Music Fest to take place Saturday, April 25. Bands will perform in the plaza and pavilion from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. that day, and the concerts are free with zoo admission. The Abilene Zoo Music Fest was made possible with a grant from the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council.

Albino Burmese Python goes on permanent exhibit

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo’s new 14-foot-long albino Burmese python will go on exhibit Friday, April 3 in the zoo’s Reptile House. Zoo members get a sneak peek at the animal Thursday night. The zoo acquired the animal this fall from the University of Texas Permian Basin, where she had been a local animal celebrity for the school.

Children get two choices for Easter Bunny Breakfast

ABILENE, TEXAS – The Abilene Zoo will host Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on two weekends this season. Saturday, March 28, or Saturday, April 4, guests can enjoy a continental breakfast of assorted pastries and fresh fruit, milk, juice or coffee along with a fun Easter craft and a framed photo with the Easter Bunny.

Exploration Day Saturday: All about Frogs

ABILENE, TEXAS –This month’s Exploration Day at the Abilene Zoo will be a fun-filled day about frogs. Come to the zoo pavilion Saturday, March 14 to hop into the activities. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Abilene Zoo’s staff will offer a frog relay race that includes activities and crafts that teach children about the life cycle of frogs.

Popular Jaguar Back on Exhibit

ABILENE, TEXAS –Wailer, the Abilene Zoo’s popular jaguar will be back on exhibit for Spring Break. The big cat was off exhibit for a few weeks during the renovation of his night quarters. At almost 20 years of age, Wailer is one of the oldest jaguars in captivity.

Contest names zoo’s new camels; new exhibit opens Saturday

ABILENE, TEXAS — The zoo’s two new female camels are now named Dakota and Sahara. The four-month-old female dromedary camels are new to the zoo from a Texas camel farm. The pair will go on exhibit and start daily walkthroughs of the zoo starting this weekend. Camel walks will take place at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. beginning Saturday.

Saturday is Snake Appreciation Day

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, Feb. 21, will be Snake Appreciation Day at the Abilene Zoo, a special monthly Exploration Day offering extra activities and learning adventures for guests. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Abilene Zoo’s staff will offer animal information, animal encounters, games, and special crafts for the kids to take home.

Zoo buys young camels; needs public input for names

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo has two new camels! The three-month-old female dromedary camels are new to the zoo from a Texas camel farm. The duo will go on exhibit and do daily walkthroughs of the zoo this spring. The young animals are still growing, but they currently stand at about 5 feet tall and weigh 170 pounds. The camels currently are in quarantine, a requirement for all animals new to the zoo.

Zoo to host volunteer meetings

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo is looking for animal lovers to volunteer in many capacities. Volunteers always are needed to help with education, administration, animal and plant care. For those interested in volunteering for the education department, informational meetings will be presented Thursday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m. Come to the Abilene Zoo’s administration building to attend.

Exploration Day to feature the Birds of Texas

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, Jan. 17, will celebrate Birds of Texas at the Abilene Zoo, a special monthly Exploration Day offering extra activities and learning adventures in Elm Creek Backyard area of the zoo. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Abilene Zoo’s staff will offer animal information and a special craft guests can take home. The event is free with zoo admission.

Alligator Snapping Turtle has a new name

ABILENE, TEXAS– The Abilene Zoo’s new Alligator Snapping Turtle will be christened Beauregard, a Cajun name in honor of the animal’s natural habitat in the Southeastern United States. Beauregard means “beautiful gaze” in French. Voters decided between three names, and the election was tight between the names Geronimo and Beauregard, but the latter won out by a handful of votes. Close to 300 zoo guests cast ballots in the contest.

Enrichment Day set for Saturday

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, Dec. 13, will be Enrichment Day at the Abilene Zoo, a special monthly Exploration Day offering extra activities and learning adventures in the zoo plaza. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Abilene Zoo’s staff will offer animal information and a special craft for different species on exhibit. The event is free with zoo admission.

Breakfast with Santa

ABILENE, TEXAS – Tickets are now on sale for the Abilene Zoo’s popular Breakfast with Santa, which will be on two Saturdays this month, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. Each Saturday offers two breakfast times: 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Guests will enjoy a continental breakfast, holiday craft, photo with Santa and admission to the zoo. Cost for the event is $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $5 for those age three and younger.

Giraffe feeding bridge to be demolished

ABILENE, TEXAS–The historic giraffe feeding bridge will be demolished Friday morning to make way for the new $3.8 million Giraffe Safari exhibit. The 50-year-old bridge was award winning in its day, and has long been a guest favorite at the Abilene Zoo. In recent years, it has proven to be safety hazard and is not up to American with Disabilities Act standards.

“This is an exciting moment in construction of the new giraffe exhibit,” said Bill Gersonde, executive director of the Abilene Zoo. “A new feeding deck will replace the bridge, where guests can make eye-to-eye contact with these popular animals.”

Public asked to help name new Alligator Snapping Turtle

ABILENE, TEXAS– The Abilene Zoo has a new Alligator Snapping Turtle, and he needs a name. The 37-year-old turtle is new to Abilene from the San Antonio Zoo. He weighs about 150 pounds and is 3 ½ feet long. A zoo committee has selected three potential names for the animal and is asking the public to vote on a favorite. A drawing then will be held from the winning entries, and the winner will be awarded a $50 gift card to the Zoo Store.

Saturday, Nov. 15, is Big Cats Day

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, Nov. 15, will be Big Cats Day at the Abilene Zoo, a special day of activities and learning adventures about all of the cats in the zoo’s animal collection. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Abilene Zoo’s staff will offer cat information, cat games and cat crafts about the different species on exhibit.

Boo at the Zoo has record attendance

ABILENE, TEXAS – The largest crowd in recent memory attended Boo at the Zoo Saturday, October 25, at the Abilene Zoo. More than 9350 were at the zoo for the annual Halloween festivities. Past years have had attendance hovering around 5,000. Boo at the Zoo has been an Abilene tradition for more than 20 years.

Crowds expected for Boo at the Zoo Oct. 25

ABILENE, TEXAS – Saturday, October 25, don your best costumes and bring the whole family to the Abilene Zoo for Boo at the Zoo, the biggest trick or treat party in town.  More than 30 organizations and businesses will provide free treat stops at this year’s event. Costume contests with great prizes will take place every 30 minutes. The zoo will be closed that morning until its gates open at noon.

Zoo attendance sets new record

ABILENE, TEXAS– The Abilene Zoo set a banner year for attendance. Executive Director Bill Gersonde credits this year’s record-setting gate numbers to the many exciting things that have brought people into the zoo this year — from the Ghost of the Bayou albino alligator exhibit to Maned Wolf puppies to the zoo’s blooming gardens and butterflies.

Ocelot kitten now on exhibit

ABILENE, TEXAS– The zoo has a new ocelot kitten. Born Sept. 9 to proud ocelot parents Hotrod and Ellie, little Lucy is now old enough to be out on exhibit with her mother. The Abilene Zoo’s ocelot breeding program is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan program, which strives to educate the public about these threatened animals while helping to repopulate the species.

Abilene Zoo gets new bull giraffe, Mesi

ABILENE, TEXAS–The Abilene Zoo has acquired a new bull giraffe. Mesi (pronounced “may-see”) is a 9-year-old male. He weighs more than 2600 pounds, is 18 feet tall and is a Rothschild giraffe, one of seven sub-species of giraffe. He was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The Abilene Zoo purchased him from the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas, where he had lived most of his life.

Last chance to feed giraffe from the bridge

ABILENE, TEXASThe Abilene Zoo will be giving away free crackers to zoo guests this weekend to mark the last days of the giraffe bridge. The bridge will be coming down soon to make way for the new, $3.8 million Giraffe Safari exhibit, which will double the size of the animals’ space and add a male giraffe for a breeding program. The giraffes will be off exhibit during the construction.

Havar the white tiger gets new fun exhibit

ABILENE, TEXAS –This Friday, Aug. 29, the Abilene Zoo’s white tiger – Havar — will get to explore a newly remodeled exhibit space – designed just for his enrichment. Zoo Director Bill Gersonde says improvements include a new larger pool for the large cat to play, a cave to provide additional shade, and new landscaping both in and around the exhibit.

Sunset Safari nights continue two concerts this month

ABILENE, TEXAS –Guests to the Abilene Zoo will finish their summer on a high note when they enjoy two concerts during the month of August. The Abilene Jazz Collective will perform Thursday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. The group’s original concert was canceled last month because of rainy weather.

Zoo to Host Volunteer Meetings

ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo is looking for nature-lovers with time and talents to share. Volunteers always are needed to help with education, administration, animal and plant care.

Teddy Bear day lets kids get in free with a hug

ABILENE, TEXAS –Saturday, July 19, will be Teddy Bear Day at the Abilene Zoo, when children ages 13 and younger get in free if they bring along their favorite plush bear or other animal.

Children also can choose from a selection of new stuffed toys to love at the Zoo Store, and then use that animal toward free admission.

Spots & Stripes Forever Concert Series Thursday
to feature Abilene Jazz Collective and Classic Cars

ABILENE, TEXAS –On the third Thursday of each summer month, the zoo hosts a musical performance from the Spots & Stripes Forever concert series, accompanied by special guest exhibitors.

On Thursday, July 17, the Abilene Jazz Collective will perform, while the members of the Classic Car Club will display their prized historic collection. The concert series is underwritten by the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council.

Hail storm strikes flamingo flock

ABILENE, Texas– Officials at the Abilene Zoo sadly report that four flamingos were killed during the severe weather Thursday night.

“It’s always difficult for our staff to lose an animal,” said Zoo Director Bill Gersonde. “Mother Nature dealt us a devastating blow with this storm.”

AZA Accreditation
Silver Spring, Maryland (April 2, 2014) – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Abilene Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Only zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “The community should take great pride in knowing that the Abilene Zoo is a proven leader in the care and conservation of wildlife, and in inspiring people to take action to protect the natural world.”

Albino alligator
ABILENE, TEXAS – A rare albino alligator will be on exhibit this summer at the Abilene Zoo, arriving just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

“This is a special opportunity for our zoo guests,” says Bill Gersonde, executive director of the Abilene Zoo. “These animals cannot survive in the wild, and this is a terrific chance for people to see an unusual animal and learn about the remarkable history of all American alligators, which once were listed as an endangered species.”

Black Rhino
ABILENE, Texas — One of the Abilene Zoo’s rare black rhinoceros, Uhuru or “Ru” for short, has been called away for duty – breeding duty.

Ru will be moved to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose to live and mate with three females of his subspecies after pre-shipment exams are complete.

Sunset Safari
ABILENE, TEXAS –The Abilene Zoo will begin summer hours this week, staying open until 9 p.m. with last admittance at 8:30 p.m. every Thursday for Sunset Safari. The Reptile House and the Ghost of the Bayou exhibit also will be open during these extended Thursday hours.

What’s more, on the third Thursday of each summer month, the zoo will host a musical performance from the Spots & Stripes Forever concert series, accompanied by special guest exhibitors.

Texas On The Wild Side – Zoo Videos