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Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville

4.5
#1 of 18 in Things to do in Brownsville
Zoo · Zoo / Aquarium
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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). It is also the birthplace of Harambe the gorilla.
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.
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Gladys Porter Zoo reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
528 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Taking the children to learn about the animals that we'd otherwise probably never see in our lifetime. It is a nice place to stroll, learn, and hang out with family or friends. Picnicking... 
    Taking the children to learn about the animals that we'd otherwise probably never see in our lifetime. It is a nice place to stroll, learn, and hang out with family or friends. Picnicking...  more »
  • The zoo is nicely laid out, pretty much a large loop. It is easy to get around. We particularly liked the giraffes, there were many. And make sure you visit both spider monkeys, they are... 
    The zoo is nicely laid out, pretty much a large loop. It is easy to get around. We particularly liked the giraffes, there were many. And make sure you visit both spider monkeys, they are...  more »
Google
  • I visited this zoo back in 1976 on a trip from Canada - escaping our winter!! I was blown away with the cage free set up and water everywhere! A bird got picked up by a gust of wind and became a lite lunch for the lion! Quite a disruption in the lay back feeling of this zoo! Handled well by the staff - didn't expect that! Love love this unique zoo - well planned - and definitely never getting this in Canada - way too bad! Always telling people to go here if they are in Texas which Canadians seem to love!! Wishing to return one day!! Just great experience🥰
  • A lot of people especially especially teenagers see the zoo as a pretty disturbing experience, but speaking as a teen I can confidently say it's a lot better than what everyone thinks. About a year ago I went to the zoo for my birthday and even though a lot of my friends did not want to participate, they still did, and enjoyed all of the time there. Just today I went out on my first date to the zoo, and even though a lot of people advise me not to go to the zoo it was 1000 times better than I expected. If you want to have fun for a few hours I highly suggest going to the zoo. It is a lot of fun.

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