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Frank Buck Zoo, Gainesville

(4.4/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We have a season pass to the Zoo and have enjoyed coming often to view the animals. The animals appear to be well cared for and happy. While it does not have as much animal diversity as Dallas or Fort...  more »
  • If you are within an hour's drive, this is a fantastic stop. Quiet, nicely laid out. active and unique animals. Inexpensive and a nice adjoining park with grills and playground. Go in the morning in s...  more »
  • I grew up in the area and went here as a kid for field trips. Back then the zoo was in poor shape. A few years back they completely remodeled it and it's much better! Very family friendly, wheelchair ...  more »
Google
  • If you have been to big zoos like us, keep in mind that Frank Buck Zoo is very small! They even mention it being small, in the description. There is not a lot of animals, but great zoo for small children! I enjoyed the gift shop and reading the history of Frank Buck. The park is absolutely beautiful! The playground is amazing. Your kids and grandkids will love it! Heard great reviews on the train ride. We are taking our grandson back to enjoy it all again soon!
  • perfect size zoo for a 2 and 4 year old. Our girls loved it :-) We were very impressed with how clean it was.The girls also loved the train! We will definitely go back.
  • My mom, 2 sisters and I had a blast!! The youngest one was mesmerized when we feed the goats. My other sister liked the train ride while we were counting squirrels. Overall it was a great experience. :)
  • Drove from an hour out for their Easter egg hunt was 3 minutes late they wouldn't let my family in we went to the front gate and they refused to let us in without pre baught tickets and told us we had to wait an additional hour while people were already inside!
  • Small but great for little ones