Reopening FAQs

Am I required to wear a facial covering?

Yes, all guests are REQUIRED to wear facial coverings while others are present.  Please make sure that you have a face covering with you.

This does not apply to children 5 and under or those with specific medical issues.

Are reservations required to visit the Zoo?

Yes, reservations are required for both members and non-members.  Reservations are made for a specific date and time to ensure the Zoo is operating safely within the capacity limit and guests are able to adhere to proper social distancing requirements.

  • General admission and member reservations are limited each day. Once capacity is reached, we will be unable to allow entry to any more guests.
  • Members may reserve a date and time slot for themselves and up to as many guests as allotted with their membership level.
  • Members will need their photo ID, membership card and reserved tickets to enter the Zoo.
  • To speed up the admission process, please print your tickets before arriving at the Zoo or have the ticket PDF available on your mobile device, so the ticket booth attendant can scan them for entry.

Will I have to wait to get inside Gladys Porter Zoo if I show up early?

Yes. Guests must arrive at their reserved time slot to ensure capacity is not exceeded. If you arrive early for your designated time slot, please wait in your vehicle until 5 minutes prior to your reserved time.

Can I buy zoo tickets before my visit?

Yes. It is highly recommended. Guests need to purchase tickets through our website,, or by calling (956) 546-7187.

If I am late for my reserved time slot, will I still be able to visit the Zoo?

Capacity within time slots is limited; therefore, we will have to check for availability. If there isn’t a time slot available for that day, you will have to reschedule for another day. We ask that all guests make every effort to arrive on time.  If you have a concern, please call (956) 546-7187.

What if I purchased my timed ticket, and I’m unable to attend at the date/time I selected?

If you are unable to attend at your selected date and time, please contact the Zoo office at (956) 546-7187.  24-hour advance notice is recommended to modify the reservation to another available date and time.  This would allow us to open up the space to accommodate other guests.

Can I reserve tickets for a group?

At this time, group size is limited to 10 people or less.

Can I leave the Zoo and come back in?

No. Unfortunately, all guests will be required to leave the Zoo immediately after visitation to minimize congestion on the property or in the parking lot.

What if I have Zoo tickets that I purchased before the Zoo closed?

Please call (956) 546-7187 with your order ID number, so they can modify your tickets for a specific date and time.  You can find the order ID number on the print-at-home ticket.

Will the bathrooms be open?

Yes, bathrooms will be available. Please follow hand washing guidelines and maintain social distancing.  Cleaning and disinfection schedules have been increased.

Will food be available for purchase?

The Oasis and Lion’s Pride concessions stand will have food available for purchase; outdoor seating is somewhat limited, however, due to social distancing requirements.

 Can I buy food and drinks with cash?

Yes, you will be able to pay with cash at any of our open concession stands.

Are visitors still able to bring their own water to the Zoo?

Yes, visitors will be able to bring in ONLY water. Also, we will no longer be holding food items for visitors in the office.

Will indoor facilities by open?

The following indoor facilities will be open with 25% building occupancy and close at 4:00 p.m. with the exception of the bathrooms.


Russell Aquatic Ecology Center

Australian Exhibit


Below are the activities and facilities that are unavailable during our Phase I opening:

Playground (except Martha’s Cove, the water feature, which will be open)

Small World and goat yard

Feeding Opportunities

South Texas Discovery Education Center

Keeper chats and shows

Is admission still full price considering some areas of the Zoo are closed off to visitors for their safety?

Yes, the admission rates will remain the same since most of the Zoo is available to visitors.

Are Reciprocal, AAA, AARP, group discounts or coupons available?

During the initial phase of our reopening, discounts and coupons cannot be applied online.

If it rains, will visitors receive a refund?

No, at this time we are not  any issuing refunds.  Visitors will need to reschedule their visit for another date and time, which can be done by calling 956-546-7187.

Is it true the Zoo is following a one way path around the Zoo? If so, how does that work?

Yes, we are asking all visitors to follow a one way path that will begin at Gorilla Island, and from there, we are asking visitors to go to the left and keep to it. Markers have been placed to lead the way.

 Will the alcoves (viewing windows) be open?

No. To reduce congestion and for the safety of the public, it was recommended by Public

Health officials to close them.  However, keep in mind that there are other areas to view the animals.









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