On Saturday, August 16, 2014, the Gladys Porter Zoo will be hosting a charity Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament presented by Capital One Bank. The tournament will be held at Cardenas Mercedes Benz in Harlingen. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Zoo’s capital campaign projects. Currently, the Zoo has two major projects underway, the South Texas Discovery Center and Gorges Small World Renovation.

South Texas Discovery Center

The new education center will increase the Zoo’s education space by 385%. It encompasses 9,717 square feet. The center features five classrooms, natural history library, graphic arts room and campfire area for Starlight Safaris.The Center’s exterior has been completed. Crews are working to build the interior walls of the classrooms. The final stage that we are currently soliciting funds for is to outfit the classrooms with the equipment and supplies necessary to educate the masses of children visiting the Gladys Porter Zoo. The Zoo offers a host of educational programs and outreach activities that reach over 45,000 children and adults in a year. This represents countless hours of instructive learning - from presentations in the community and schools to specialized on-site lessons designed to augment children’s classroom experience.

Patty Gorges Small World

The Patty Gorges Small World, children’s interactive animal encounter area and nursery is in need of a major renovation. The proposed renovation will feature an enhanced, naturalistic, Meerkat Motel – with pop-up viewing tubes to bring children up-close-and-personal to our mob of meerkats. In the center of Small World, a giant ceiba tree will house small monkeys with overhead runways for small monkeys to move about and among the twisted roots of the ceiba tree, kids will have the opportunity to explore crawl through tunnels. The renovation will also have an enhanced children’s interactive animal encounter and nursery for Zoo babies.


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