A journey through Natural Encounters is like an adventure through an entire continent: see animals from the river’s edge, rainforest canopy, desert, and coral reef, all under one air-conditioned roof! Tree branches stretch out over pathways, waterfalls cascade into pools, and animal meet you at every turn. Come nose to nose with some of the world’s most endangered animals as you experience animals up close through large glass viewing panes. You can even crawl right into a see-through tunnel to view piranhas inside their exhibit! As you leave the building, watch meerkats peek out of their burrows while their sentry watches for predators as medical center helicopters fly overhead (they look a little like hawks to meerkats!).
Behind the Scenes
Meet Carey Carey has been a zookeeper for ten years, and has been at Houston Zoo for two years. She thoroughly enjoys working with the birds of prey and carnivores.
Meet PJ PJ started as a primate keeper, but since joining the Houston Zoo she’s expanded her experience to other mammals as well as birds and reptiles.
Meet Hannah the Binturong Born in Texas, Hannah grew up at the Houston Zoo and frequently participates in special events and keeper talks at the Zoo where guests can see up close how wonderful she is.
Straw-colored Fruit Bat Video
Did You Know?
While you may have never heard of a binturong, you may have heard of the “bearcat” which is a common misnomer for this animal.
Meerkats normally employ a sentry to look out and alert the others of threats from above.
Deforestation and habitat loss throughout the Golden lion tamarin range has resulted in this animal receiving an endangered status.