It’s tucked away on 15 acres of land on the Southwest Edge of Austin, but its mission is great. The Austin Zoo is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education. But zoo officials find themselves in need.
The zoo is in need of additional items to keep the animals warm this winter.
Principal Zookeeper Donald Gytri tells KVUE the zoo is in need of additional items such as small electric heaters, heat lamp bulbs, linens, blankets, or pillow cases. Heaters and heat lamps are especially important for animals like the Galapagos Tortoise. Gytri says the cold weather can cause problems for them.
"Being cold-blooded animals they can't rely on their own metabolism like we can to keep them warm, they have to find ways to get warm," Gytri said.
Old hay for bedding and food items like meats and vegetables is also needed. Recently, zoo officials have put up wind blocks on bird cages as well. More than 300 animals and over 115 species call the zoo home.
According to its website, The Austin Zoo began as a goat ranch. In 1990, the ranch became known as Good Day Ranch, taking in primarily goats, pigs, fallow deer, donkeys and ponies who needed a home. By the year 1994, the ranch had grown and included a number of exotic animals. To reflect all the changes, the Good Day Ranch officially became Austin Zoo. In 1999 the owners decided to donate the animals and the facilities into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation – a project that was completed in 2000. Austin Zoo has been operated by a Board of Directors since that time.
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