The Gladys Porter Zoo

We were lucky enough to be wandering through the area when the annual Ocelot Conservation Festival was going on at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. And there’s nothing like going to a zoo and conservation demonstration with kids to get you excited about everything all over again.

Though I’m pretty sure I’ll never get the catchy wetlands conservation song out of my head. Ever.

As part of the festival, the Cincinnati Zoo sent their ocelot ambassador, Sihil, to visit the zoo. Sihil exhibited some of the more interesting aspects of the wildcat, including their ability to perform a controlled walk headfirst down a tree.

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The zoo itself, though set on a small corner of a city block, is surprisingly bigger on the inside. There is quite a bit to keep kids and adults alike busy, including a giraffe feeding station and a large jungle gym area.

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The zoo, though fairly crowded when we visited, was quite easy to navigate. We easily found what we were looking for, including a sign supposedly advertising a back door into Australia. No passport needed.

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Of course, by the time we had explored most of the zoo, an afternoon thunderstorm came in, drenching everyone still left wandering outside. We had just enough time to dry off in the aquarium and reptile exhibits before it was time to go. I have to say, the reptile exhibit held quite a few interesting species I hadn’t seen in a zoo before, including leopard geckos and a large exhibit featuring american alligators and a very old snapping turtle.

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All in all, the zoo was a refreshing day trip with our family, and the Ocelot Festival was a great way to learn more about the area and meet some wonderful people.


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