The mission of Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education. We currently have over 300 animals from over 100 different species at the Zoo. Last year, over 175,000 people visited Austin Zoo. Over 32,000 were students and teachers visiting on field trips. Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is a pleasant Hill Country zoo where the people of Austin can come to learn about the animals close-up, spend some time outdoors getting exercise, and have fun. It’s a place where we Austinites can truly make the most of our time together.
Austin Zoo is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization, and we rely on private donations, gate admissions, grants and sponsorships to continue to care for the animals we have, and to be able to take in new animals that need a safe home.
Austin Zoo started out as a goat ranch. In 1990, it became the Good Day Ranch, which catered to animals in need. At that time, the animals consisted mostly of goats, pigs, fallow deer, donkeys and ponies… with just a few exotics. Today, the ranch is home to many more exotic animals, as well as domestic animals, that were either rescued from, or unwanted by, their owners.
Due to the growth of “roadside zoos” and private ownership of exotic animals, along with the release of older animals from big city zoos to smaller facilities, the number of animals in need of a safe and healthy home has multiplied at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, due to lack of facilities and resources, Austin Zoo is forced to turn down an average of 50 requests a month to care for additional animals. But, thanks to private donations, gate admissions, grants and sponsorships we’ve been able to continue our mission of rescue and rehabilitation. From toads to tigers, lambs to foxes, we happily welcomed 21 new residents into our safe, caring home in 2012.