Lions & Tigers & Bears Oh My!

In: Outdoors

28 Aug 2012

(map) The San Diego Zoo, it’s not. But kids love it just the same. In true “Keep Austin Weird” tradition, the non-profit Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary began with a few goats. Over the years, their collection of rescued animals grew to more than 100 species. (Read about their 20-year history and mission to rescue animals here.) And while they do have lions, tigers and even bears, they also have a petting corral where kids can feed axis deer, goats, and llamas. It’s a surprisingly large place with a lot of walking, so it’s best to go early, when it’s cooler. There’s a train the kids can ride, and lots of educational signs on the history of the animals (probably why it’s a destination for thousands of classroom field trips).

In addition to axis deer, there are monkeys, wolves, parrots and macaws, iguanas, giant tortoises, foxes, leopards, cougars – anything that needs rescue, be it chickens or coatimundis.

This train takes kids around the property every hour. Tickets are $2.50.

This area looks small, but the tigers actually have a huge space, with a big pool to splash around in.

Bags of food pellets cost $2, and are popular with the goats.

When you walk up to the birds, most of them will squawk, "Hello."

The gift shop is filled with toys and educational stuff disguised as toys. All animal-related, of course.

Austin Zoo website

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