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 Zoo Member family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to January’s Featured Members: the Moore Family.
We asked the Moore’s what being Zoo Members meant to them. Here’s what they had to say. “My husband and I decided to join the Houston Zoo when our son Charlie was born in 2011. It was a wonderful decision. Not only have we benefitted from the monetary value of having an annual membership, but we have also been fortunate to watch Charlie’s love of animals blossom with each visit. We’ve frequented the zoo on quiet weekday mornings, hectic first-day-of-spring weekends, free days, Member Mornings, Cool Summer Nights, birthday parties, Zoo Boo, and Zoo Lights.
Charlie (5) has the zoo layout memorized. He’s a little (okay, a lot) particular about the order we go in. First, we see the sea lions. Then, we watch the meerkats dig tiny tunnels. When Toby the red panda joined the zoo family, we “changed it up” by first wandering through the steamy glass of his enclosure before wiggling through the underwater tunnel of the Natural Encounters area. Watching the armadillos waddle across their sandy homestead is always a treat, and once we finish counting to be sure that all of the elephants are home, it’s off to see the big cats. Charlie has a particular love for the fossa (the “top predator of Madagascar”, as he tells us). Once all the big cats are spotted (or just their tails or paws are accounted for), we stop at the black bear exhibit to watch Belle eat her fish-sicle, and check on Patty the Andean bear to make sure her house looks cozy. It’s off to the okapis (my husbands favorite), the bongos, tapirs, and capybaras next. We’ve been lucky enough to spot Olive, the giant anteater, a handful of times (I can’t wait to meet her baby!), and we look carefully for the lone maned wolf. It’s critical that we see all 3 of the ankole cattle before entering the African Forest.
I love that the red river hogs have beautiful red coats which match my son’s hair, and we have gotten a kick out of watching the “bachelor” gorillas guard their breakfast bananas from one another. Charlie loves Charlie the chimp, and we always look for him and his blanket in the chimp enclosure. We identify the animal footprints en route to the rhinos, and always spend a good deal of time watching the giraffes (Charlie’s favorite), zebras, and the ostriches (Charlie’s nemesis, as they always stare him down with their creepy, beady eyes). We rotate between the Children’s Zoo (we love the snapping turtle), the Bug House (leaf-cutter ants are fascinating), and the Primate Walk to finish off our day (does anyone else find it adorable that the orangutan will ask for snacks by motioning with his hand?). It’s difficult to make it to the car without a soft pretzel and ice cream, and when the weather is nice, we make extra time to visit Hermann Park as well (we love the grilled cheese sandwiches at Pinewood CafÉ). Charlie also loves to chase the pigeons and ride the Hermann Park Railroad.
All in all, we appreciate that every visit to the zoo is an adventure, and we have enjoyed getting to know the animals over the years. We have met new baby animals and said good-bye to old friends. Knowing the fond memories we have from the Houston Zoo, we have made it a mission to visit a new zoo with each vacation we take. From these visits, we’ve come to realize how spoiled we are in Houston to have such a wonderful facility in town (that’s right San Diego … and Austin, Denver, Calgary, and Providence … the H-town zoo has set the bar high)! We suspect we will be renewing our membership for many years to come. Thanks to all the keepers, vets, employees, and volunteers who work so hard to care for the animals and make the zoo a great place to spend the day!”
From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to the Moore’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!