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Pongos Helping Pongos

Art Event Saving Animals in the Wild

View original artwork created by orangutans, elephants, clouded leopards and other Houston Zoo animal artists, and join in a silent auction and take one or more of these masterpieces home. All the proceeds at this special event are donated to help save wild Pongos and other animals in their natural habitats.


7th Pongos Helping Pongos Art Event
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Masihara Pavilion at the Houston Zoo
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Event Entry:
If you’re already visiting the zoo, event entry is $10 suggested donation at Masihara Pavilion.
Arriving just for PHP? Look for our event registration table outside our main Zoo entrance. $10 donation includes entry to the Zoo and the event.


The Houston Zoo cordially invites you to the seventh Pongos Helping Pongos art event!

Since 2004, Pongos Helping Pongos events have been held every two years, and they have raised a total of more than $200,000 for conservation efforts in southeast Asia.

This year’s animal artists will include the binturong, babirusa, asian elephants, orangutans, and clouded leopards – all animals found in the wild in Southeast Asia.

Sneak Preview of Artwork at PHP 2016!


Animal Artists at the Zoo

Painting provides Zoo animals an outlet to express their intelligence, personalities, and abilities.

The keepers at the Houston Zoo work to enrich the lives of the animals in their care every day by adding interesting and complex activities to the animals’ daily routine. Enrichment activities are fun for both animals and keepers. We have found many of our animals enjoy painting with canvases, non-toxic paints and a little help from their keepers to create their very own masterpieces. Each painting is unique and each artist has his or her very different and unique techniques.

Orangutan-Enrichment-0002b-web
Some orangutans paint with brushes; others enjoy fingerpainting!

What is a Pongo?

“Pongo” is the scientific genus name for the orangutan. There are two species, named for the islands they are found: Bornean and Sumatran orangutans. It is only on these islands that orangutans are found in the world, and their habitat is under threat.

Orangutan-0138-5425-Cheyenne
Bornean or Sumatran, “Pongo” means orangutan. Cheyenne is a featured artist.

Helping Pongos in the Wild

Proceeds raised at the Pongos Helping Pongos event support the nonprofit organization Hutan, based in Sabah, an area of Malaysian Borneo. Its primary focus is to study orangutans in their native habitat there, some of the last remaining habitats for wild orangutans. Their work includes assessment and monitoring of orangutan population health and genetic status, studies of orangutan ecological adaptation to degraded and fragmented habitat, development of policies for population management within and outside protected areas, and community engagement and education in the conservation of orangutans and habitat including environmental education programs for Malaysian school children.

Visit the Orangutan Species Survival Project website to find more information about how zoos are parntnering with researchers in the wild to help save orangutans.


Questions about this event? E-mail tbuhrmester@houstonzoo.org.