April 4th-8th, 2022 is National Wildlife Week! Austin Zoo, which started as a goat ranch, honors its unique history – and is planning some fun – to educate kids and families! Studio 512 intern, Gracie Watt, met with the Education Manager of Austin Zoo, Hope Carr, to learn more about what the zoo offers.

“From wildcats to primates, birds, reptiles, native Texas animals and more, Austin Zoo has plenty of critters for the whole family to see! You can even meet birds like Jazzy, an intelligent African Grey Parrot, who has a few tricks up his sleeve.

“Jazzy is 12 years old, but he can live as long as 65-72 years! That’s why it’s so important to do research on potential pets before adopting; Jazzy is pretty high-maintenance. He can’t eat the seeds you buy from the pet food store: he needs fresh fruit, veggies and nuts in a special diet. Jazzy’s species is endangered, unfortunately. African Grey Parrots are native to the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and animal traders take eggs to sell. African Greys are very intelligent, and they can mimic many sounds! Jazzy can imitate an owl, “sneeze” on command, and give lots of kisses, just to name a few.”

For National Wildlife Week, Hope suggests that families visit the zoo or enjoy some activities that support our Texas wildlife community from home, such as building birdhouses and gardening. 

Located on the southwest edge of Austin off Highway 290 West and Circle Drive, Austin Zoo is a Hill Country zoo where visitors from around the world can come to learn about animals close-up, spend some time outdoors getting exercise, and have fun. Capybara and tortoise meet and greets are even available at the zoo. If you’re like to schedule an up-close animal encounter for yourself or your family, email Education@AustinZoo.org.

Summer Camp at Austin Zoo is now open for sign-ups: Hope says half the weeks are already sold out, so it’s important to sign-up soon! Learn more here, and buy tickets to visit Austin Zoo here.