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Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville

4.5
Must see · 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 endangered 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.
To visit Gladys Porter Zoo on your trip to Brownsville, use our Brownsville travel itinerary planner.
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Gladys Porter Zoo reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
529 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This is definitely a must see! It’s small enough and just right with every animal you can imagine, including Rhinos! We got to see the crocodiles being fed, what an experience. A true joy! 
    This is definitely a must see! It’s small enough and just right with every animal you can imagine, including Rhinos! We got to see the crocodiles being fed, what an experience. A true joy!  more »
  • 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
  • This place has plenty of animals and a few more new additions coming soon!, the petting zoo wasn't open, but I'm sure by the beginning of next year it will be up and running again. This place also has a children's playground, available for kids 4 years and older. You can expect to spend at least 3 hours here, including time for the concessions, and a quick 5-10 minute sit down. It's a very decent sized zoo, my son and wife loved it.
  • Even though it was terribly hot outside, the zoo offered plenty of shady paths and places to cool off. The animal exhibits are wonderful and there were several air conditioned buildings including the aquarium and reptile buildings. The prices in the gift shop were reasonable and we really enjoyed our time here. Would definitely visit again!
  • I usually have mixed feeling about zoo's. In this case, I was surprisingly impressed with almost every individual environment. Very clean with several waterfalls, and sensory items. Other than the black bear. That little guy needs more. So great job zoo! 👏
  • Great zoo, to bad they did away with the elephant. Lots of construction going on for some new exhibits. Hope this zoo picks up new animals. Used to be a great zoo now it's just a zoo. They only had one tiger and 3 camels where the elephant used to be.we need a miracle for these animals. Will continue to visit and report how the progress is going.
  • Such a cute zoo. Wish more of the concession stands were open in the zoo, but I know with covid there are staffing shortages. The zoo is well maintained and the staff were all friendly. Especially the young man running the petting zoo today.

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