Austin Zoo News

News and Updates

Congratulations to Jesse Pottebaum

May 15, 2019- Congratulations to Jesse Pottebaum, our Deputy Director of Animal Care, for being named the new Director of the Abilene Zoological Gardens. In addition to giving Jesse the opportunity to lead all aspects of an accredited zoo, his new position provides the significant increase in compensation and benefits that a taxpayer-supported zoo can offer. During his time at Austin Zoo, Jesse has helped lead a culture of continuous improvement and “leveled up” professionalism among the animal care team ...
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Austin Zoo Board of Directors Welcomes New Chair, Members

March 11, 2019- On Thursday, the Board of Directors of the Austin Zoo elected Bernie Tejada as Interim Chairperson and elected three additional new members: Richard Heinichen, Leslie Starnes and Sherri Wicker. They join existing Board members Carl Alberty, Rick King and Tracie Monroe. The Board elected Alberty as Vice President, Wicker as Secretary, Starnes as Treasurer and King as General Counsel. "I'm excited about where the Austin Zoo is going and honored to serve as its interim chair," Tejada ...
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Austin Zoo Update

March 6,2019- Inspection confirms Austin Zoo's animal care is fully compliant We'd like to update you on a recent development that highlights our commitment to providing superior care and quality of life for our animals. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent a three-person team to conduct an inspection of our facilities, procedures and animal care records. The two-day inspection was unannounced. The inspection arose from a late January article published in the Austin American-Statesman and a 54-page letter ...
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Dr. Jakubowsky’s Response to the Austin American-Stateman

March 4,2019- You may have seen the Austin Zoo mentioned in the media lately, and you may be upset about what you saw or read. We were, too. Our mission is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education. Our purpose is to provide a haven for animals that have come to us from adverse environments, and we strive to meet the very highest professional standards in caring for our animals at all stages of their lives. In ...
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Update From ZAA

February 25,2019- ZAA was made aware of allegations of animal welfare and management concerns at the Austin Zoo, on January 24th, 2019, via anonymous letter dated July 29. Since then, the ZAA staff and Board have been in constant contact with the administrators of the Austin Zoo while they address these allegations. The Austin Zoo became an accredited ZAA facility on May 3, 2018. Their accreditation audit was conducted on December 12, 2017. At the time of the inspection ZAA ...
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An Open Letter to the members and Friends of the Austin Zoo

February 3, 2019- For over 20 years, the Austin Zoo has been committed to the rescue, rehabilitation, and professional care of each and every animal that has called the Austin Zoo home. We remain committed to community engagement and to upholding standards of accountability set upon us by professional accreditation and regulatory organizations and to maintaining the trust of our members, friends and the community at large ...
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Statement from the Austin Zoo Veterinary Team

February 2, 2019- The Austin Zoo uses a team of local veterinarians, both small and large animal in addition to regular consultation with an outside zoo consultant and boarded veterinary specialists at Texas A&M University in exotic, internal medicine, neurology, pathology, and surgery. The Zoo has a well-established preventative health care protocol to include vaccinations, deworming, dentistry, and diet review in addition to regular discussions regarding animal welfare, safety and quality of life ...
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Austin Zoo’s Media Response

January 30, 2019- For decades, the Austin Zoo has been committed to animal welfare and rehabilitation, and to serving as a haven for many animals that have been rescued from adverse environments. We are also committed to public outreach and education, and we would again like to express to our community our commitment to transparency and accountability, high standards of conduct with respect to our animals and their care, as well as with respect to the governance of Austin Zoo ...
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