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Borneo and the Houston Zoo: Why Borneo?

The Houston Zoo’s new mission and vision is fairly straightforward and can help answer questions on why our wildlife conservation programs engage in certain regions of the world

Our Mission: The Houston Zoo connects communities with animals, inspiring action to save wildlife.

Our Vision: The Houston Zoo will be a leader in the global movement to save wildlife.

It all comes back to wildlife and many of the animals you can visit here at the Houston Zoo. How can we do our best to not only care for everything from orangutans and elephants to pythons and hornbills here at the zoo but also engage our public and protect them in the wild.

That leads me to Borneo. Borneo is full of biodiversity – it is literally packed with animals and plants living within its tropical rainforest. 1,000+ species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects…it is truly amazing what can be found here. And the Houston Zoo has a large number of animals that can be found in Borneo: Orangutans, Asian Elephants, Clouded Leopards, Asian Small Clawed Otters, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Argus Pheasants, Bornean Eared Frogs and even Reticulated Pythons. It is long list for the world’s third largest island.

The island of Borneo is actually divided into three countries. Indonesia is the lower 2/3rds of the island making up the region called Kalimantan. In the north, the two Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah encompass much the top 1/3rd with the small country of Brunei along the coast of the South China Sea. Much of the region’s economy is based on agriculture, logging and ecotourism, all three of which effect wildlife and local communities in different ways.

So Why Borneo? Simply because we feel that working with close partners on the ground, we can make a difference and save wildlife in the region. To the Houston Zoo, it is important to support programs where local conservationists can help lead the way to protect wildlife and work with local communities to reduce threats – for both animals and people.  Over the coming days, we will talk about our local partners working to save Borneo’s elephants, orangutans, hornbills, carnivores such as the clouded leopard and many other species so stay tuned for more from Borneo!

Learn more!