While I was back in San Antonio for spring break, I decided I'd go against my morals and check out the New Braunfels' Snake Farm and Zoo with my mom. Since I had gone to the McNay and Witte Museum several times, I thought I'd finally take my mom to go and see Jeff, the new baby sloth.
I've been a sloth lover for a couple years now, but my mother recently joined the fandom. Yet, by the time we spotted Jeff's mother Sylvia, we were already uncomfortable and ready to leave ASAP after seeing the living conditions of the other animals.
When my mother and I first arrived at the New Braunfels' zoo, I thought we were at the wrong location because the building looked far too small to house as many animals as it displayed on its homepage.
My thoughts were correct because the lions, alligators, goats and wolves were actually housed in the back of the building in enclosures much too small to fit two, let alone four animals together.
My mother, 55 years old, was telling me this zoo has been on the same six acres of land since she was a little girl. That only made me more depressed because the cramped spaces that the camels, bison, lemurs, foxes and jaguars are living in now were probably worse in the late 20th century.
After seeing overfed potbelly pigs, a starving mountain lion and a goat that may have been in labor from the blood coming out of its behind but still forced to interact with the children shoving food in its face in the petting zoo, I've come to the conclusion that I experienced an extreme lapse in judgment recommending my mother and I go see a sloth.
I guess there is a glimmer of hope for the physical and mental health of the New Braunfels' animals after learning there has been a change in the zoo's ownership. Their future involves an additional 26 acres of land, larger enclosures (not cages because those are fighting words) and more "natural feeling habitats" according to the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo 'Expansion' page.
Until the renovations are done, I'd suggest finding entertainment elsewhere, but who knows how long that would have to last considering there's no mention of a start date; it could be decades for all we know.