Wild Tales 2019

Come listen to a story, meet some of the Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors and even get a free book while supplies last.  Storytelling, face painting, crafts and special play stations will be set-up on Zoo grounds. Tales begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m.

During Wild Tales everyone gets the discounted school rate to visit the Zoo.  The special rate is $4.50 for elementary / middle school students, $5.00 for high school / college students and $6.50 for adults.  Zoo members get in free.  Sign up to be a Zoo member today.


Download the schedule of events.


Rickey E. Pittman, storyteller, author, and folksinger was the Grand Prize Winner of the 1998 Ernest Hemingway Short Story Competition, and is originally from Dallas, Texas. Pittman presents his stories, music and programs at schools, libraries, organizations, museums, Civil War Reenactments, and Celtic festivals throughout the South. He has made three music CD’s: Bard of the South (2011), The Minstrel Boy (2012), and A Lover’s Ghost (2012). His newest publication is Ariel: Therapy Dog of the Rio Grande Valley (2014). Pittman earned a BA in New Testament Greek and an MA in English Literature from Abilene Christian University and currently teaches college level freshman composition and literature for Delta Community College, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Virginia College Online.  http://www.bardofthesouth.com/about-me/

Melanie Smith was originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma but has been a proud transplant to the RGV for many years.  She is currently a Librarian at Burns Elementary.  She has been a librarian for 23 years and her favorite thing to do is read to kids.  She believes that reading with enthusiasm helps encourage students to read.


This year’s Wild Tales has more fun, kid-friendly activities:

  • Listen to a wild tale from one of our guest storytellers
  • Make a tail craft
  • Have fun at one of the many play stations
  • Get your face painted
  • Encounter an Animal Ambassador

Also partnering with us this year is UTB RGV School of Education, Graduate Students who will be hosting play stations around the zoo that will promote education through play.


Gladys Porter Zoo is proud to promote early literacy by providing free books to children attending Wild Tales.  The books are available while supplies last.  Lucky children will receive a ticket that they can redeem for one free book.

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