Shoebilled Stork

This stork’s bill resembles a Dutch wooden shoe and ends in a sharp, curved hook. Their mandibles have sharp edges that assist in capturing and eating prey. The Houston Zoo is one of just four zoos in the United States that currently has shoebilled storks.


  • Scientific Name: Balaeniceps rex
  • Range: Sudan, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, and Central African Republic
  • Status in the Wild: Of Special Concern
  • Location in the Zoo: Birds of the World
  • Cool Animal Fact: Also called the whale-headed stork, it has a nearly 8-foot wingspan, stands 5 feet tall, and weighs 9-15 pounds.