Welcome to the Houston Zoo!

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Barn Cam
Platform Cam

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Ethel G. and Allen H. Carruth Natural Encounters


You May Encounter These Animals
fruit bat
NE_Animal_Sakisaki monkey

About Natural Encounters

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

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.


Blue-Tongued Skink
This unique reptile is a regular feature in Keeper Talks in Natural Encounters. Stop by to see it, and you might even get to pet one!


Tamandua Talks
The next time you’re at the zoo, check the schedule to see if a Tamandua Talk is scheduled in Natural Encounters. These cool animals live behind the scenes but come out regularly for a walk and a Meet the Keeper Talk!

Fruit Bats Hang Out – Google Glass Video


Did You Know?

While you may have never heard of a binturong, you may have heard of the “bearcat,” which is another name for this animal.