Frank Buck Zoo

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Frank Buck Zoo
Frank Buck Zoo logo.png
Frank Buck Zoo logo
Frank Buck Zoo, Gainesville, Texas, USA-31July2010.jpg
Zoo entrance (photo July 2010)
Date opened Opened in 1930 at Fair Park, Gainesville and relocated to present site in 1962
Location Gainesville, Texas, United States
Coordinates 33°37′18″N 97°09′15″W / 33.621678°N 97.154203°W / 33.621678; -97.154203Coordinates: 33°37′18″N 97°09′15″W / 33.621678°N 97.154203°W / 33.621678; -97.154203
No. of animals 130+[1]
Annual visitors 65,000 (2009)[2]

Frank Buck Zoo is a small zoo founded in 1930 and located in the 30 acres (12.1 ha) Leonard Park in Gainesville, Texas, United States. 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.[1]

The zoo was moved to its current location in Leonard Park[3] in 1962.[1]

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.[1]


The handicap and stroller accessible path around the zoo is about a mile long, with an elevated walkway over the kangaroos, giraffes and zebras.[4] Visitors see the giraffes at eye level and can feed them during the public feeding every day.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Frank Buck Zoo: History". Frank Buck Zoo. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  2. ^ Trigg, Delania (17 March 2010). "Spring Break means more visitors to Frank Buck Zoo". Gainesville Register. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Leonard Park and Frank Buck Zoo". City of Gainesville. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  4. ^ McLeod, Gerald (9 May 2008). "Small-town zoo named for big-time animal man". The Eagle. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Bringing Students Closer To Nature". Frank Buck Zoo. Retrieved 21 August 2010.

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