Babe, a former 4H project and survivor of the slaughterhouse
When I first moved to Austin, an ignorant fool told me that the city had a zoo, but all it boasted were “some goats you can feed.” This equally ignorant fool believed the unfactual statement, thought that feeding goats couldn’t possibly be fun (oh boy, was I wrong!) and never bothered to look into the Austin Zoo. I wasn’t that much into zoos anyways; I love animals and zoos just seem like a depressing purgatory.
Luckily, a co-worker recently explained to me that the Austin Zoo is actually a sanctuary and that it had an impressive array of animals such as bears, primates, big cats, kangaroos, pigs, birds, tortoises and yes, goats- beautiful, wonderful goats– almost entirely rescued from dire situations.
This piqued my interest immensely, and we found ourselves at the zoo over the 4th of July weekend.
First of all, if you haven’t been there yet, GO!
Don’t be an ignorant fool like me. You do not need offspring to enjoy the magical-ness of the Austin Zoo.
One of the Austin Zoo’s marmosets
It is one of the most pleasant and interactive zoo experiences I’ve ever encountered. Don’t anticipate a large zoo with dozens of cold, sterile cages and pens. The atmosphere at the Austin Zoo is very rustic and a little DIY. The animal cages and pens are very homey-appearing and lend well to human interaction. In fact, don’t be surprised if parrots laugh at you while you walk through the zoo, or peacocks walk alongside you, trailing their big, beautiful fans behind them.
Every animal has a plaque featuring his or her name, birth date and in many instances, the history of how the animal arrived at the Austin Zoo (hint: a lot of rich people buy exotic animals and then realize they can’t take care of them). The zoo recently acquired three orphaned black bear cubs, Korben, Tilly and Ruby. Many of the animals have chronic medical conditions that would make them unable to survive in the wild, like Bandit, the three-legged wolf hybrid, and Sade, the blind leopard.
As we strolled around the zoo, we had no clue that merely a few hours before, someone had broken into the zoo and stole $25,000 worth of equipment and cash.
Whoever steals from a freakin’ animal sanctuary deserves a place in the afterlife next to Dick Cheney.
It breaks my heart knowing that someone could essentially steal straight from the rehabilitated animals and their amazing caretakers.
If you’re a fan of the Austin Zoo or like to support local animal rescue initiatives, please consider donating to the Austin Zoo and Sanctuary at this Go Fund Me campaign, or you can make a donation on the official Austin Zoo and Sanctuary page. All proceeds go directly to the Austin Zoo. Or, if you’ve never been, you can start by visiting the zoo very soon! I promise- you won’t be disappointed. A day pass is $9, but it’s only $50/year for an individual or $100/year for a family of four.
One word: MARMOSETS!!!!
Three words: Tiny human faces!!!