Trip Planner:   USA  /  Texas  /  Texas Gulf Coast  /  Brownsville  /  Gladys Porter Zoo

Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville

#1 of 18 in Things to do in Brownsville
Must see · Zoo · Zoo / Aquarium
Gladys Porter Zoo is a zoological and botanical park located in Brownsville, Texas. The zoo officially opened on September 3, 1971, and currently averages over 424,000 visitors annually. Situated on 31 acres (13 ha), the zoo houses about 400 animal species (including 47 endangered species) and over 250 tropical and neo-tropical species and subspecies. It is the first zoo to have successfully bred the vulnerable Jentink's Duiker (although none are currently in captivity in the USA).
The zoo is named after Gladys Porter, the daughter of Earl C. Sams, former president of J. C. Penney. Porter, a wildlife enthusiast, helped to plan and stock the zoo, which was entirely funded by the Earl C. Sams Foundation. After its opening, the zoo was given to the city of Brownsville.
To visit Gladys Porter Zoo on your trip to Brownsville, use our Brownsville travel itinerary planner.
Create an itinerary including Gladys Porter Zoo
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Gladys Porter Zoo reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
519 reviews
  • We had kids and adults in our group. Adults were dragged to the zoo but once they got there they loved it. Very impressive. Kids had a blast  more »
  • Great Zoo to visit, friendly staff and a lot of animals. They have plenty of clean, well stocked, restrooms and food stations.  more »
  • My wife and I had a great time, we went early on a weekday so we had the whole place to ourselves. Most, if not all of the food vendors were closed so I cant speak to any of that. We really enjoyed seeing the variety of animals, especially being able to pet the manta rays. They were so friendly, they instantly swam up to you once they saw your hand near the water. Overall we had a great experience.
  • This is a beautiful zoo! Very large and you could easily spend hours in here. The thing that makes it earn a 5 star rating is that this place is ALWAYS improving. This is the first time I've been here in about a year and since them they've added a new exhibit, new areas, and they are going to open a new exhibit in the near future. I'm really happy that they are putting in a lot of work to make this place awesome.

Plan your trip to Brownsville

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.