Fun for a short trip to the zoo, but a little sad. Monkeys are fun & interactive but it was a hot day and the big cats looked broken down...
Animal Sanctuary, Beautiful and Natural. This is a beautiful animal sanctuary. It is very natural, rocky terrain, and it is not glitzy or showy. This zoo is all about caring for and loving the animals. I respect and admire such a place. Most zoos are all about profit and what they can sell you in the gift shop. This place gives you an opportunity to show your children that there are people and places left in this world that care about animals and life. I have read the other reviews, including the nasty one from the people with a dog. Shame on you for targeting this animal sanctuary and for not being responsible adults. Austin Zoo, keep doing what you are doing and try to ignore the irresponsible schleps of the world. Great job!!!!
I guess people don't really do their research before visiting this place. They come expecting a for-profit zoo like San Antonio or Ft. Worth Zoos. It's not. This place is a non-profit animal sanctuary and thus doesn't have all the modern conveniences like paved paths, a huge gift shop, and animal interpreters/zookeepers to answer your questions.
I visited yesterday for the first time with my husband and infant daughter. I had already done my homework and wasn't expecting a flashy zoo. It was about what I expected. The cages were well-kept and clean and we saw a few handlers cleaning out the cages, feeding animals, and even playing with the ring-tailed lemurs. I guess we were just there at the right time. The paths were a bit rocky and unpaved, but we managed just fine with our run-of-the mill Graco stroller and there were LOTS of other families there with strollers and none seemed to mind.
We didn't interact with the staff much, but the lady who took our admission fee was friendly enough. The cages were well marked with the names and ages of the animals and information about their natural habitats and sometimes information about their backgrounds/where they were rescued from.
We didn't ride the train as it seemed sort of a waste with a small infant who wouldn't get much out of it. Maybe when she's older. We saw it go by and it was packed and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The roaming peacocks, chickens, and guinea fowl were neat and there was a colorful rooster perched about 20 feet up in an oak tree, which the kids at a birthday party found very exciting.
Our baby loved watching the monkeys and prairie dogs, who were very active and playful. All in all, we had a terrific time and plan to return when she's older. If you don't go expecting a for-profit zoo experience, then you won't be disappointed!
not bad, not great. I'm never impressed when I leave this place, but the kids enjoy it. I've had a birthday party there and my only complaint is the many,many bees. I also went during the winter on one of Austin's rare very cold days, and I was shocked to see the parrots outside shivering in cages. we asked a staff member about it and they were pretty snarky with thier response. Don't bother bringing a stroller, it will just frustrate you.
Austin Zoo. The Austin Zoo needs support from our community. It could be a wonderful place if it had some support- money, volunteers. If you go expecting a zoo experience like a well funded zoo can give, stay at home. But it is the kind of place your kids ( 8 and up ) can go explore. I have not encountered rude staff, I was well treated and have enjoyed my visits there. I hope more people will decide to give the Austin zoo more support.
RUDEST STAFF IN THE STATE!.
This zoo has the rudest staff I've ever come in contact with. We've taken my family to several zoo's, some big-some small, but never have we experienced staff that acts as if they hate the patrons who help support them.
As for the comments regarding the man who paid a family to watch thier chihuaua(sp?) while they were in the zoo since they found upon arriving that pets weren't allowed: what a GENIOUS idea! And, it amazes me how that is NO ONE'S business! I'm sure if that man was compelled enough to love his pet to bring along on a family trip to the zoo, he wouldn't have left it in danger. Strangers are allowed around the animals in the zoo daily. Get over it and mind your own business. Gas is expensive, and the kids would have been disappointed, and the dog was left with a family down the street from the zoo-AND? Get over yourselves. This zoo needs an immediate and thorough staff makeover.
Fantastic Place, Great Cause. I keep reading negative reviews for this zoo that typically involve a bad train ride and bad stroller terrain. I have no kids and thus strollers are no issue of mine, but for the people complaining about the train, be aware that the train ride is not actually affiliated with the zoo; it's separately owned, and the profits do not go to the animals. I love this place. They do great work for animal rehabilitation and still keep the place looking nice and, yes, while the San Antonio Zoo is larger and more elaborate, bear in mind that the Austin Zoo is essentially running a charity for abused animals. I found the staff friendly, the country setting pleasing, and the entire trip a fantastic one. A flock of free-roaming peacocks helping themselves into the bear's den was especially amusing.
Good for the animals, costly for a train ride that goes NO WHERE! Not stroller friendly.
What they do for the animals is wonderful. It's a great place for a birthday or picnic. However the staff was un friendly, didn't even look at us while they took our money. The train lasted about 10 minutes and showed not much of anything for a very high cost amount. I understand needing money for the zoo but come on 10 bucks almost for our small family to ride a short train, when we starting having fun it was over.
The food and feeding animals is great. Bring insect spray for your arms and children and only a jogging stroller, normals will be horrible to get around.
Wonderful caring non profit place to take the family!. I was there for that! I witness the whole thing! That man DID leave his dog with some random people up the street, he is insane. I would never leave a part of my family dependant on me with complete strangers and I would NEVER settle on leaving them in the car on a hot day either. The director, who was the person who previously replied is being nice about the whole thing in her response. It was a very hot day and the man was a total moron. I cant believe he would bash all staff because he got caught doing something stupid, and low. I have a great time at that zoo, its a wonderful place and the staff is very friendly. Those people spend their lives caring for animals who were discarded like mere wrappers. They have very kind hearts and dont make much money for what they do, considering the Austin Zoo is a non profit facility. I highly recommend visiting the zoo and supporting these people and animals!
not what they told me (i have witnesses). Yes, this family came out with their chihuahua - passing 2 signs that stated clearly pets not allowed on zoo premises. They stood blocking the entrance while they decided what to do - which prompted me to remind them they had to leave with the dog. The man said he would just leave her in the car (it was a warm day and leaving animals unattended in vehicles is unacceptable and still against the rules of having a pet on the premises). I again stated no, you had to take the dog home. They decided the man would go home and the lady and kids would go to the zoo. In less time than it would take to take the dog home the man is sitting at a table having lunch with lady and the kids. I suspected that the man had decided to leave the dog in the car but asked him where "Cheesecake" was. He said, there were some people up the street having a garage sale and he left her with them. Stunned, I asked did you know these people? He said, no but I gave them $5 to watch her. At which point I said, you left her with strangers? You are crazy. And walked off. They then decided to pick a fight with me. I still think it is totally crazy to leave a small dog or any pet for that matter with total strangers. The dog could have become frightened and bit someone or run away or even sold. Yes, they should be humiliated at the way they treat their pet. What kind of message is that to teach the 5 kids? That when your pet is inconvienent - you can dump them somewhere without guilt, shame or worry? Yep, still consider their behavior crazy.
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