and Animal Sanctuary
10807 Rawhide Trail
Austin Texas 78736
$50 - Annual Membership (Individual)
The Zoo Review
The first thing to realize is that this is NOT the San Antonio Zoo. Not even close. But then again, it doesn’t pretend to be. In fact, it’s more animal sanctuary then typical big city zoo, and it doesn’t get a lot of attention in the Austin Attractions arena.
Located just southwest of Austin, the zoo was originally a goat farm. In 1990, it became the Good Day Ranch and began caring for mostly hard up domestic animals such as goats, pigs, and donkeys. Kind of like Old McDonald, but where no one gets eaten.
The zoo/sanctuary has grown since then and now includes plenty of exotic animals in need of rescue and/or rehabilitation. In the Big Cats category, there are African Lions, Bengal Tigers, Cougars, and Jaguars, one of which suffers from a pretty obvious case of cataracts.
Following Hurricane Ike, the zoo acquired four abandoned wolf hybrids from the Texas Gulf Coast Region in 2009. And what zoo would be complete without monkeys? There are currently three species of monkeys along with an assortment of other miscellaneous creatures including black bears, ring-tailed lemurs, and porcupines.
All joking aside, the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary does important work, cleaning up and taking responsibility for other people’s messes. The sanctuary may never win some kind of Five Star Austin Tourism Award, but if you’ve got kids, and the weather’s not too insanely hot, consider adding this to your Austin Things To Do list. It’s a good cause, and there’s a petting zoo as well. The zoo also accommodates for birthday parties.
And if you’re feeling particularly generous, the zoo is also a 501(c)(3) non-profit – direct contributions are always appreciated and needed.