Featured Members: The Garcia Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our August Featured Members: The Garcia Family.


We asked the Garcia’s to tell us about their experience at the Zoo and why they are Members. Here’s what they had to say:
garcia members“Yano and I are Houston natives and the zoo has always been a part of our lives. The Houston Zoo represented family, fun, education and very hot Houston summers. As we grew into adulthood, the two of us realized the bigger advantage of our zoo; its impact on education, conservation and ecological research. Animals are a huge passion of ours and we have even gifted the “behind the scenes” experiences to my mom (who visited so many times that the zoo keepers started remembering her name). I even got to feed Satu the tiger with my best friend before our son, Isaac was in the picture. During my pregnancy we visited a few times and it was never a question that we would soon be able to take our son! It was a pretty exciting time for us.

We waited quite a while to visit with him since he is so young and it does get so hot here. In the spring, we took advantage of the mild weather and FINALLY brought him to experience the zoo. Now let me preface by explaining Isaac a bit to you; he is one SERIOUS baby. When Isaac was a bit younger, we started a “mini menswear blog” featuring Isaac modeling sophisticated baby clothes. He has always been very comfortable in front of a camera and developed a too cool for school “model face.” As such, Isaac is fully aware of the camera and very rarely smiles in front of it.

So, we set out for his first visit to the zoo, camera in hand, not expecting full smiles but still getting some great memory shots. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!!! He was into it the moment we got there and by the time we made our way to feed the giraffes he was BEAMING. It was the biggest smile I had ever seen on his face the photo of it still makes me tear up. He also got his very first love at the zoo, in the form of a neon green stuffed that he picked out himself from the gift shop that day.
garcia members2

garcia members1After that, we knew we would be back and became Zoo Members a few months later. When we were planning his second birthday, we knew immediately that it would take place at our “happy place.” Being as though Houston summers are HOT HOT HOT here we were really excited to see all of the indoor and air conditioned options like the pavilions and then even more thrilled to know that as Zoo Members we get a discount! The best part was that we could go pretty over the top with our decorations (as we typically do) and make the whole experience really our own. The kids got a huge kick out of the animal experience and our zoo keeper was great at engaging and directing the kids who were of a wide range of ages.

We are a charitable family and believe in supporting the community that has continued to support us. As such, we have spent a great deal of time teaching Isaac how to give back. It will be a huge pleasure for us to explain to Isaac that on his second birthday, we were able to encourage our friends to donate to the Houston Zoo rather than give us tangible gifts that we are blessed to already have. We look forward to continuing our support of the Houston Zoo, its facilities, its research, and its education services by continuing our Membership and attending fundraising events indefinitely.”

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to The Garcia’s and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our zoo and conservation efforts. THANKS!



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This morning, we humanely euthanized our male, 20-year-old jaguar, Kan Balam. Due to the tremendous care provided to him by his keepers and our veterinary team, Kan Balam lived well beyond his expected lifespan. Jaguars expected lifespan in the wild is between 12-15 years.

The carnivore staff and veterinary team made the decision after his quality of life began to decline. Quality care and continuous advances in veterinary medicine extends animals’ lives longer than ever, with most felines in human care living well beyond previous generations. Because of this, all cats, including domestic house cats and jaguars, often spend a significant phase of their lives as older animals, and are at a higher risk for geriatric complications.

Read more about Kan B, and the love his keepers had for him on our blog: www.houstonzoo.org/blog/mourning-loss-geriatric-jaguar-kan-balam/
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This morning, we humanely euthanized our male, 20-year-old jaguar, Kan Balam.  Due to the tremendous care provided to him by his keepers and our veterinary team, Kan Balam lived well beyond his expected lifespan. Jaguars expected lifespan in the wild is between 12-15 years. 
 
The carnivore staff and veterinary team made the decision after his quality of life began to decline. Quality care and continuous advances in veterinary medicine extends animals’ lives longer than ever, with most felines in human care living well beyond previous generations. Because of this, all cats, including domestic house cats and jaguars, often spend a significant phase of their lives as older animals, and are at a higher risk for geriatric complications.

Read more about Kan B, and the love his keepers had for him on our blog: https://www.houstonzoo.org/blog/mourning-loss-geriatric-jaguar-kan-balam/

 

Comment on Facebook

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur; happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr #RIP #bigbangtheory

I know he lived a lot longer due to the excellent care he got at the Zoo.

Aww. When interning in the carnivore dept he was one of my faves. So smart! Ashley remember when Angie was teaching him to do the moonwalk after Michael Jackson passed?

So sorry for the loss of this beautiful creature. Kan Balam.

Is this the one that had the limp?

Thank you Houston Zoo for taking such good care of him and all the animals! I've been going to this zoo since I was little bitty. I always enjoy it.

RIP Kan Balam. You have given the visitors so much pleasure just watching you over these years. You were taken care of by top notch professional handlers, etc.

So sorry for your loss. He was a brilliant cat and he is at peace now and free.

So sorry they had to go through this, a decision that is emotional and difficult, and necessary.

Thank you to you and your staff for the years of quality care given this magnificant creature.

Sending my love to Kan Balam's keepers ❤️ This is the hardest part of our jobs 💔

We just saw Kan Balam on Monday😔.... he will be missed❤️

I am so sorry for your loss, each of these animals are precious ....

This was my daughters favorite critter at the Zoo. We always went to say hello to him before anyone else whenever we went. When she was 7 years old we sent a post out to out neighborhood on Halloween saying Paisley was asking for pocket change donations in lieu of candy for Halloween and all amounts would be donated to Kan thru the zoo. She raised over $40 in coins! I still have the letter from the zoo thanking her for her donation. He was a sweet boy and will be missed. 😔

Hugs to all of you keepers that took special care of Kan Balam.

Awe, I’m so sad to hear his quality of life was declining. But, I’m happy to know he had a long and wonderful life thanks to the wonderful teams at the Houston Zoo. He was a beautiful cat.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thanks for taking such great care of him so he was able to live a long life. My thoughts are with his keepers and all who adored him. <3

Heartfelt condolences to the veterinary and keeper staff. Thank you for taking care of him

Katie Rose Buckley-Jones I won’t ever forget the time you asked him to bring something and he ripped off a piece of cardboard and tried to hand it to you ❤️ thank you for introducing me to him. Sending you guys many hugs

The Houston Zoo staff has lost several animals this year and I am sure each one is so hard to go through.

Thank you for providing him with a caring and enriched life. So sorry for your loss!

My thoughts of sympathy are with you all. I can't even imagine the sadness you feel today.

So sorry to read this. It is always a hard decision. RIP and run free sweet boy.

I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a beautiful cat.

So sad. Native Houstonian. He was one of my favorites.

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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.

 

Comment on Facebook

Are there some zoo animals that enjoy this weather?

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

Happy New Year “sea lion keeper “ 💖💖

More snow for TJ and Max ❤️ lucky them!

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

That’s my best friend Sophie for ya! 😂

Brrrrr

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

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Weve heard of stalagmites but is stalagmice a thing?

 

Comment on Facebook

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

Andrew Kaufmann Look its Richard Jr! 😂

Wow ... good photo shot ... show the world that you need to protect your pipe ... if not, freezing water will expand the pipe and crack the pipe !!!

“Baby it’s cold outside!”

My gutters had glaciers in them!

I fell for the mouse thing too..

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

i was honestly looking for a mouse lol

Wow,that is so neat!

Annecia Wesley but where is the ice bacon? Lol

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

Two words. Pipe insulation.

That’s awesome!

Ana Rivers Smith cool!

Cortez

Pauline Ervin

Denise Daigre

Ashley Nguyen

Vicente Gonzalez

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