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Frank Buck Zoo, Gainesville

Frank Buck Zoo is a small zoo originally founded in 1930 and located in the 30acre Leonard Park in Gainesville, Texas, USA. The zoo started as the Gainesville Community Circus in 1930 and is currently home to more than 130 animals.HistoryThe zoo was founded by A. Morton Smith as Gainesville Community Circus, and opened in 1930 at the Cooke County Fair, Fair Park, in Gainesville. A fire at the zoo in 1954 destroyed circus equipment and from 1954 the animals were kept permanently in enclosures. In 1954 the zoo was renamed after the film actor and director (and Gainesville native) Frank Buck, who collected wild animals from all over the world, and who also worked as a ring master at the zoo.The zoo was moved to its current location in Leonard Park in 1962.The Frank Buck Exhibit opened at the zoo in March 2008 showing items donated by Buck's daughter, Barbara Buck, that once belonged to her father including camp tools and media memorabilia.FacilitiesThe handicap and stroller accessible path around the zoo is about a mile long, with an elevated walkway over the kangaroos, giraffes and zebras. Visitors see the giraffes at eye level and can feed them during the public feeding every day.
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Frank Buck Zoo Reviews
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137 reviews
  • Best place to take the family on a Saturday outing. So many different animals to see and you can even feed the Giraffes if you get there early enough. There are refreshments available and a gift shop ...  more »
  • My first time here, and I and the family enjoyed it. We went on a Tuesday, and it was rather cool and cloudy. Due to that, besides the zoo staff, we were the only ones there. I liked the layout, and t...  more »
  • This small town zoo is a delight. A walkable circle with an elevated viewing deck most of the way around. Really a nice vantage point for the zebras, ostrich, camel, donkey and giraffe. Surprised to s...  more »
  • Very small zoo but perfect for little kids who can't handle to long walks at a larger zoo. Love that it goes in one large circle and not spread out every direction. Plus a playground with shade trees and picnic tables to eat at.
  • my family and I love this zoo! For starters , you can't beat the price! Everyone that works here is so friendly and knowledgeable... even when feeding the kangaroos , the zoo keeper took the time to see if we had any questions...she surely answered them all for us. We are never disappointed when coming here!
  • This place is great!! It's smaller than most zoos but none of that matters when you get there. It’s gorgeous!! Very well thought out design and amazing deck with gazebo. Wish I had a picnic basket with me. The zoo is next too a HUGE park. If you are in Gainesville or thackerville with the kids make sure you go here. You won't be disappointed.
  • Great little zoo. Doesn't take a whole lot of time to get through it all but being able to get so close to the animals is great. The parrot can speak and the male kangaroo looks like he's ready for the heavyweight championship
  • Pretty much the best zoo around. Super cheap $7 for adults $5 for kids. Plus it is not too big where you hate being there by the time your halfway through. Bonus is that there is a great park right in front of the zoo

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