May 10 event to raise funds for animal care, new enclosures

Local nonprofit Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary is gearing up for its first gala fundraiser, scheduled for May 10.

Director Patti Clark said the Austin Zoo Revue and Grand Gala will raise funds for the nonprofit's emergency veterinary fund as well as a few ongoing projects to support the zoo's inhabitants.

Located on 14 acres at 10808 Rawhide Trail in Southwest Austin, the zoo works to rescue and rehabilitate a variety of different types of animals. It relies on private donations, admission fees, grants and sponsorships to fund operations.

The zoo is renovating an enclosure for three black bear cubs that will join the zoo sometime this summer, Clark said.

Also in the works is a new enclosure for three genets—a mammal resembling a spotted cat with a long tail, Clark said. Construction began in the fall, and the project is nearing completion, she said.

The gala takes place from 6–10 p.m. at the zoo near the entrance and will feature a silent auction, a catered Gourmet Gals Catering and Events buffet, and a live auction during which the zoo will auction off a dozen animal sculptures.

Zoo visitors can vote for their favorite of the 12 decorated fiberglass animals on display, and the People's Choice Award winner will be announced at the gala.

The event costs $75 per person and will be limited to 250 attendees.

"Tickets are selling quickly. We're really thrilled," Clark said. "We're providing guided tours of the zoo so you can meet our animals. We get animals from so many different places, and so often when you hear the stories, it's hard to believe how some of these animals came to live here."

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