Chicken Pants

There, I said it. Chicken Pants. Plain and simple.

We were discussing today the Houston Zoo webpage and when you look at the drop down menus, what the public is interested in seeing.

Plan Your Visit, Memberships, Animal Exhibits, Conservation are all scrolled across the top. Conservation is the home of some 40 pages highlighting the programs of the Houston Zoo Wildlife Conservation Program but is that what catches your attention? Probably not. So I blurted out CHICKENPANTS which definitely would.

I am amazed at how easy it was to find this photo

It all goes back to our evolution of an attention span that lasts mere seconds in todays technological age. Back in the Stone Age, they may have stared at the word for 3-4 minutes before being distracted by a piece of grass. Today, we have seven seconds to catch your attention and gather your interest in a story or important information.

Did you know Chickens used to just be called Domestic Fowl? Chicken comes from the word chicks (little chickens basically) and we became lazy and just resorted to Chickens. Fowl clearly did not have enough vowels to be a proper term. There are more than 24 billion chickens in the world. How have they not taken over the planet?

Penguins are practically Chickens and this is my favorite - Feathers McGraw from Wallace and Grommitt's The Wrong Trousers

The Houston Zoo is involved with a breeding and reintroduction program here for a bird that is not a chicken but is known as the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken which we also sometimes refer jokingly to as Space Chickens due to our support from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in allowing us to reproduce this endangered Texas native on their property. It is actually a Grouse. The Attwater’s Prairie Chicken (not a chicken) is also the southernmost Grouse (still not a chicken) in the world.

Which leads me back to your attention span, actually mine which has crossed over more topics than I have toes in just a few hundred words or less. Chickens for the most part do not wear pants but we are a curious bunch and just need to know why the Houston Zoo would use this as a header – it grabs our attention. In the end, we simply switched the word Conservation on our website with Saving Animals. We are conservationists as are our partners but what we all want is to Save Animals. Actually what I want right now is a palm oil free chocolate bar so I can protect Orangutans and happily eat chocolate at the same time.

Borneo Orangutan, Malaysia. This species is threatened by loss of habitat due to Palm Oil Plantations across Malaysia and Indonesia

But Saving Animals is what we help our partners do. Whether it is Cheetahs in Botswana, Lions in Mozambique, Gorillas in Rwanda, Tapirs in Brazil or right here in Texas where we work to save the Houston Toad (which no longer survives in Houston) or the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken (still not a chicken – yes, we are our own conservation oxymoron) we will strive to develop educational programs, support communities, train skills, raise funds and awareness to protect the world’s wildlife.

Now everyone get out your Chicken Pants and dance your way into the weekend.


I do not know what is happening here, and it is for the best


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