Roarin' Mornings! Beginning June 1st, Summer Zoo Hours will be 8:00AM-4:00PM

About Us

The Abilene Zoo is a place of learning and adventure, where families make memories, share the joy of discovery and become inspired to preserve wildlife.

Abilene Zoological Society
2023-2024 Board Members

DSC 2018 (1)
Back row (left to right): Chris McNair, Darrel Knight, George Levesque, Chase Sims, John Willey, Grant Seabourne
Middle row: Kathy Morehead, Pam Tippen, Kristi Thaxton, Mishi Mathur, Carol Haynes, Melanie Brown, Janelle Benham
Front row: Gaile Thompson, Martha Powell, Tiffany Lamb, Gail Russey, Jennifer Montoya
 
Not pictured: Stan Chapman, Craig Fisher, James King, Breanna Lankford, Nick Montejano, Jennifer Nichols, Doug Robison, Chris Spainer, Sherri Statler, Kyle Timmerman, Wilson Wallace, Elizabeth Wick

History of Abilene Zoo

1919

Abilene Zoo first opens its doors to visitors.

1963

Abilene Zoological Society (AZS), a 501(c)3, forms to support and raise funds for the zoo. A 60-member board of directors was named for the society, with attorney David Hooper serving as its first president.

1964

In February 1964, citizens approved by a more than 2-1 vote a $250,000 bond issue to finance a new zoo in Grover Nelson Park.

1965

In March of 1965 construction begins for a new Zoo in Grover Nelson Park.

1966

A membership drive kicks off in March with the first phase lasting two weeks bringing in an estimated 5000 members at costs ranging from $1 for students, $5 per individual, and $10 per family, and various other larger options up to $250 for one-year memberships.

July 3, 1966

The new Zoo designed by architect James Tittle opens in Grover Nelson Park with 156 species in the collection.

1975

Abilene Zoo’s first Education Building opens.

1985

Abilene Zoo accredited by the Association of Aquariums and Zoos (AZA).

1991

The Discovery Center opens to the public.

1994

Wetlands of the Americas opens.

1995

Abilene Zoo acquires 24 additional acres of land for future development.

2007

Adventure Center Complex and Creepy Crawler Center opens.

2010

Elm Creek Backyard, Vet Clinic and Commissary opens.  The 1st annual Zoobilation fundraiser was held.

2011

Dr. Jane Goodall visits Abilene Zoo.

2012

South American Pampas exhibit opens.

2013

Caribbean Cove opens.

2016

Zoo celebrates 50 years in Grover Nelson Park and opens Twiga Giraffe Terrace.

2018

Accredited Bird Rehabilitation Center and Animal Hospital opens.

2021

Journey to Madagascar opens featuring lemurs, fossa, and an assortment of birds, reptiles and inverts.

2022

Tittle Lake is named in honor of Zoo architect, James Tittle. The Zoo did a land swap with Parks & Rec and acquired an additional 19 acres including the 3rd lake.

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