GPZ’s Zoofari 2019 to take place Saturday

The Gladys Porter Zoo Zoofari Express departs for a tour Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Brownsville, Texas. The zoo offered discounted weekends to show appreciation for area residents. (Jason Hoekema/The Brownsville Herald)

Gladys Porter Zoo will hold its biggest fundraising event for the year on Saturday as it holds its annual Zoofari event.

There will be a live auction, food and fun.

Every bid from the live auction supports the zoo, and proceeds from the event will go towards the new OtterBahn exhibit at the zoo featuring playful river otters.

Zoofari 2019 will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the zoo, located at 500 E. Ringgold.

After being absent from the Zoo’s collection for more than 30 years, North American otters will be back in the exhibit in 2020, the zoo announced in a press release.

The otters can be found in both marine and freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. According to Walter Dupree, curator of Mammals, “Our river otters, Imnaha and Talulah, are cute and playful; each have their own distinct personality.”

Zoofari will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction where guests can enjoy cocktails while enjoying a live animal presentation, which will be presented by the zoo’s Education Department.

Guests will later have a chance to preview and bid on auction items. The live auction begins at 8 p.m. and guests will be able to bid on opportunities to name the newest additions to the zoo’s giraffe herd and gorilla troop.

Other items up for auction include a birthday party at the zoo with your choice of a giraffe, Galapagos tortoise, flamingo or stingray feeding for 15 with a train tour included and four round trip tickets on Southwest Airlines.

To purchase a ticket for Zoofari 2019 or to bid on silent auction items, visit .

For more information contact the zoo at (956) 546-7187.