Conservationists from MarAlliance Receive Training at Houston Zoo

Last week the Houston Zoo hosted Cecilia, Gaby and Megan from MarAlliance, our shark and ray conservation partner in Belize, Honduras and Panama for conservation education training. They spent time with many departments, including education, taking part in and learning about education programs for all ages. They also had the opportunity to visit with NOAA in Galveston and learn about the work they do with sea turtles, as well as see the saving wildlife murals along the Seawall. “It was great seeing all the work the Houston Zoo does to support conservation all over the world and feel very fortunate that MarAlliance is one of those organization,” said Gaby. It was a great week filled with collaboration and ideas about saving animals in the wild.

ceciliaCecilia Guerrero
Operations Coordinator
Belize/El Salvador

Following a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of El Salvador and thesis focused on the epibiont communities on the roots of red mangroves in Barra de Santiago, El Salvador, Cecilia Guerrero returned to Belize to support monitoring and outreach and education programs with a range of marine conservation organizations including the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the sea turtle conservation program with Flora, Fauna y Cultura de Mexico in Xcacel and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). In 2012, Cecilia worked as the Outreach and Education Officer for the Southern Environmental Association and subsequently the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Gulf and Caribbean Sharks and Rays Program. Since April 2014, Cecilia has worked with MarAlliance as the Outreach and Education Coordinator to integrate research results into both public and focused outreach and education initiatives.

gabbyGaby Ochoa
Country Coordinator – Honduras

Gabriela (Gaby) Ochoa graduated from Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor’s in Marine Biology in 2012. During her time at A&M she worked at the Marine Invertebrate Lab, on a taxonomic study and description of a new species of Amphinomid (fire worms). She moved back to Honduras in 2012, and volunteered with several NGOs. In 2013 Gaby became involved with The GEF Small Grant Programme (SGP), as technical project assistant executing four development projects on the Pacific coast of Honduras. There she worked closely with fishers and turtle poachers to standardize data collection on Olive Ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea). She moved to the Island of Roatan in 2014 and began a Hawksbill monitoring program (Eretmochelys imbricata). In 2015, Gaby joined the MarAlliance team, as Coordinator for Honduras and is responsible for coordinating long term baseline monitoring for marine megafauna in the North Coast and Bay Islands in Honduras.

meganMegan Chevis
Country Coordinator – Panama

As the daughter of a marine animal veterinarian, Megan’s passion for marine wildlife developed early. She was involved with sea turtle and cetacean research, rescue, and rehabilitation for 12 years, including following Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. After graduating with a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2012, Megan spent two years traveling as well as being a whale watching guide in the Pearl Islands of Panama and a research assistant with Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Her MSc research project with the University of Exeter-Penryn, under the guidance of Dr. Brendan Godley and Dr. Graham, focused on the spatial ecology of hawksbill turtles at Lighthouse Reef Atoll in Belize using passive acoustic telemetry. After receiving her degree, Megan moved back to Panama and now works as MarAlliance’s Coordinator for Panama.

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Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: I'm still using this.
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Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: Im still using this.


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Are there some zoo animals that enjoy this weather?

SMG is another reason why Houston Zoo is the best Zoo!

Are we positive that’s the statue rather than it really just being that cold? 😛

More snow for TJ and Max ❤️ lucky them!

That’s my best friend Sophie for ya! 😂


Omg the Zoo is so awesome 😂😂😂 Alana Berry

Omg be warm sweetoe

Haha!! Good one!

Sweetie 💞

Ashley Jucker 😂

Mike DePope

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We've heard of stalagmites but is stalagmice a thing? ... See MoreSee Less


Weve heard of stalagmites but is stalagmice a thing?


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Ok, it took me a minute to get this. I was literally zooming in to try to find the mouse. 🤦🏻‍♀️🙄😂

Cindy Christina Angela Ramirez see I told y’all! Lol

I fell for the mouse thing too..

“Baby it’s cold outside!”

That's nothing! Talk to keepers from the northern states or Canada!

i was honestly looking for a mouse lol

Johnnie R. Summerlin, cool, see the "stalagm ice"?

Wow,that is so neat!

Annecia Wesley but where is the ice bacon? Lol

Two words. Pipe insulation.

That’s awesome!

Ana Rivers Smith cool!


Pauline Ervin

Denise Daigre

Ashley Nguyen

Vicente Gonzalez

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Brrrr. It’s cold out there! We have made the decision to close the Houston Zoo tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 17. Don’t worry, the animals are safe and warm in their night houses!

A limited number of staff from departments like Animal Programs, Safety and Security and Operations/Facilities will be onsite to perform essential services and have the Zoo ready for us to reopen Thursday morning.

A big ol' high-five to our awesome team members who braved this icy cold to come in and care for our animals and zoo facilities.
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Safety and welfare of the animals first! Thanks guys for all you do.

Yes thank you for everything yall do to keep the animals safe .. y'all keep safe and warm

Thank you for taking good care of our animals!

Thank u for keeping those Babies safe and warm!❤️

Thank you for all you do!

Thank you for ZOO LIGHTS. it was amazing this year!

Thank you, zoo team. Stay safe!

Mandy Rinker— really? Too cold? You’re from the Midwest girl


thank you for all you do and keep the furry babies warm


Thank you for taking care of our precious animals that we love to come see!

Thank you for keeping those beautiful animals safe. 💕

Thank you for making sure the animals are safe and warm.

Thank you for all you do for these amazing animals!!

Go, Erika!!!

Thank you 💕


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