Frank Buck Zoo logo
Zoo entrance (photo July 2010)
|Date opened||Opened in 1930 at Fair Park, Gainesville and relocated to present site in 1962|
|Location||Gainesville, Texas, USA|
|No. of animals||130+|
|Annual visitors||65,000 (2009)|
Frank Buck Zoo is a small zoo founded in 1930 and located in the 30 acres (12.1 ha) Leonard Park in Gainesville, Texas, USA. The zoo started as the Gainesville Community Circus in 1930. It is home to more than 130 animals.
The zoo was founded by A. Morton Smith as Gainesville Community Circus, and opened in 1930 at the Cooke County Fair, Fair Park, in Gainesville. A fire at the zoo in 1954 destroyed circus equipment and from 1954 the animals were kept permanently in enclosures. In 1954 the zoo was renamed after the film actor and director (and Gainesville native) Frank Buck, who collected wild animals from all over the world, and who also worked as a ring master at the zoo.
The Frank Buck Exhibit opened at the zoo in March 2008 showing items donated by Buck's daughter, Barbara Buck, that once belonged to her father including camp tools and media memorabilia.
The handicap and stroller accessible path around the zoo is about a mile long, with an elevated walkway over the kangaroos, giraffes and zebras. Visitors see the giraffes at eye level and can feed them during the public feeding every day.