BROWNSVILLE — The Gladys Porter Zoo this weekend opened its gates at a special rate for anyone living in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, but today will be the last day to take advantage of the offer.

For only $3, anyone ages 2 and older can pass through the gates and into the multi-continent exhibits — that is if you show proof of residence in the lower Valley. Residents from La Feria to the Laguna Madre and even Raymondville can take advantage of the last day of the special rate, zoo officials said.

“The zoo has always had a big focus on being affordable for everyone in the community,” said Charlie Abrego, the zoo’s spokesman. “We understand that people may not be able to bring their whole family to the zoo because of different income levels throughout the Valley.”

According to Abrego, the zoo has offered the special rates annually for at least the last 10 years.

Although this weekend’s rates are exclusive to the lower Valley, the zoo will offer appreciation days for people living in the upper Valley on Oct. 13-15. Only one person in the group is required to provide identification or proof residence, which can be a driver’s license, utility bill or a school ID.

“Just as long as it has a city attached to it, like a utility bill. We’re not so strict on the forms. As long as your name is there and an address is there, we’ll accept it,” Abrego said. “Some people form groups and take advantage of the great deal.”

Marisol Ramos of McAllen said that the rates sounded “good” and indicated they may return to the zoo in October when appreciation day rates are offered for upper Valley residents.

Zookeeper chats are scheduled throughout the day between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This provides patrons an opportunity to meet with zookeepers as they discuss their roles caring for the animals.