The Gladys Porter Zoo opened in 1971, but building wasn’t completed until 1972, so I’m going to say we visited in her 50th Anniversary year (even though the banner says otherwise).

The bright sun rays created a challenge in post processing of my feature photo. I used Snapseed for most of the editing and got the photo to a place where I had to be satisfied.

The grounds of GPZ are lush with vegetation, adding to the jungle- like feel.

In various places throughout the grounds, there are tributes to the Huastecs, who are a Mayan people. Brownsville is located just two miles from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, the only Mexican State bearing a name that is Huastec in origin. Tamaulipas derives from Tamaholipa, a Huastec word which means a place where there’s lots of prayer.

Intriguing entryways draw you in to various exhibits.

Komodo Dragon, that is

There are several restaurants and cold drink stands throughout the park, and one of them has a unique playground and splash park nearby.

Appropriately, Noah’s Ark

Each of the many design elements adds entertainment value as you walk from habitat to habitat and makes the journey fun and interesting for both the young and the young at heart.

“The Gladys Porter Zoo, in Brownsville, covers 31½ acres. It is unique in that it was built, stocked, staffed, equipped, and then donated to the community by a single contributor, the Earl C. Sams Foundation. Gladys Sams Porter, in her position as president of the foundation, was instrumental in establishing the zoo.”

Texas State Historical Association