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Be A Hero!

Reduce Your Plastic Pollution!

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At the Houston Zoo, it’s very important for us to take actions that help save animals in the wild. Thankfully, we can all take small actions that make a big impact for wildlife. Our close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico makes protecting marine animals essential, and easy!

Did you know that plastic pollution is a major problem for marine animals such as sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and coastal birds? Just by reducing our use of plastic and taking the time to recycle, we can help animals in the ocean.

There is roughly 315,000,000,000 pounds (that’s billions!) of plastic in our oceans right now. Often times our plastics (bags, bottles, caps, nets) are mistaken by ocean animals for food. A plastic bag drifting in the ocean currents looks like a jellyfish, which is a common food item for sea turtles. Ocean animals can either become sick from eating plastics, or can accidentally be caught in pollution (like fishing line) which disables the animal from swimming or surfacing.

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Thanks to your support we’ve had a lot of successes to help ocean animals in 2013:

  • Houston Zoo Vet Staff gave medical attention  to ~70 wild sea turtles
  • ~25 sea turtles released with the help of Houston Zoo staff in 2013
  • HZI staff patrols upper Texas coast beaches with NOAA staff to find injured and stranded sea turtles
  • 23 plastic pollution, healthy seafood choices, and marine debris blogs written in 2013
  • 100 sea turtle signs designed and printed by our Graphics department for Galveston beaches to create awareness about sea turtles
  • Compostable cutlery used at 2013 Feast with the Beast
  • Reusable canvas bags for sale at 2013 Zoo Boo weekends

You can save sea turtles and other local ocean animals by:

  • Bringing your reusable bags and saying no to plastic bags at the grocery store
  • Bringing  your own refillable water bottles and resisting a purchase of plastic bottled drinks
  • Opting out of party balloons whenever possible-these often end up in our oceans after they fly away!

Donate now to help sea turtles in the wild:

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Staff Spotlight

Saving the Blue-billed curassow in Colombia!

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Did you know that our keepers help save animals in the wild as well as caring for our animals here at the Zoo?

Recently one of our bird keepers was able to visit South America to continue an ongoing workshop to help strengthen the population of wild Blue-billed curassows. These beautiful and intelligent large birds are endemic to Colombia, which means they are only found in that location.

Because they are only found in one place , habitat loss over the last decade has devastated the population from once roaming over 65,000 square miles (roughly a little smaller than Oklahoma) to only a little over 1,200 square miles (size of Rhode Island)!

To bring back the population, these birds are bred, hatched, and are cared for until they are strong enough to enter into the wild and hopefully go on to create hatchlings of their own. Houston Zoo staff was able to provide 4 incubators to our friends in Colombia and hands-on instruction to help breed this bird back into the wild.

AMAZING UPDATE: Just last month Colombia hatched its first incubated Blue-billed curassow egg! Amazing progress! This hatchling’s first photo is below.

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Upcoming Events

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Fondue for the Zoo!
Sun – Fri, all APE-ril Long 
The Melting Pot – Houston 
This April is Fondue for the Zoo month at The Houston Melting Pot! Enjoy a four-course dinner for only $35 and we will give $5 to The Houston Zoo’s Action for Apes campaign to help gorillas and chimps in the wild!

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Action for Apes

All APE-ril Long!

The Action for Apes Challenge is a yearly contest hosted by the Houston Zoo to see which school or community organization can recycle the most cell phones by April 30th, 2014. By recycling old phones with the zoo you can help protect animals like chimpanzees and gorillas that live in areas where cell phone materials are mined. We already have 49 schools and groups registered, so sign up today!

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Pongos Helping Pongos
Thursday, April 10, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Join us for an exciting evening at the Zoo with a silent auction of original artwork created by orangutans and other Houston Zoo animal artists all proceeds go directly to saving orangutans in the wild!

Per Person – $10 minimum donation

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Wednesday, April 23
Whole Foods 5% Giving Day

Some Whole Foods locations around Houston will be participating in giving 5% of all purchases on April 23 to saving animals in the wild through the Houston Zoo, so be sure to ask at the checkout!

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Thursday, May 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m. 
Dr. Rachel Graham, Director of Wildlife Conservation Society’s Gulf and Caribbean Sharks and Rays Program will speak on the stories from the deep! Limited availability.
FREE EVENT

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Travel with Us

Join us on our biologist guided adventures to Yellowstone.  Watch wolves, bison and elk in amazing wilderness!

  • September 28-October 2 – Yellowstone Fall expedition
  • October 31-November 5 – Polar Bears of Churchhill, Manitoba

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Every time you visit the Zoo, you help save animals in the wild.

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If you have any questions about our programs and partners, or would like any additional information, email us at conservation@houstonzoo.org .