Pen Pals to Save Okapis: Conservation in the Ituri Forest

Written by Mary Fields


Last time we were in contact with our pen pal, Jean Paul, he told us all about what he does to help okapis in the wild. This time, he told us about the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and how it helps with conservation!

So what is the Okapi Wildlife Reserve? It is a world heritage site located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that helps protect the Ituri Forest and its inhabitants. The Ituri Forest is one of the last reservoirs for biodiversity in Africa and a refuge for okapis, chimpanzees and forest elephants.

It is not just plants and animals that the OWR helps preserve; they help preserve the lifestyle of the indigenous people living in the forest. The Ituri Forest is home to the hunter-gatherer and deep forest-dwelling Mbuti and Efe pygmies.

The OWR focuses on working with the communities within and surrounding its boundaries. They provide zones for hunting, agriculture and full conservation. They also provide outreach programs for the public, schools and the government to help educate them on the importance of conservation and the reserve.

So how can you help okapis in the wild? By recycling your cell phones and electronics! You can recycle your cell phones at the Houston Zoo’s entrance and the African Forest. Make sure to follow our blog to continue learning about okapi conservation and hear more from Jean Paul!



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See "Hotel Transylvania" at the Zoo this Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
New this fall, we've got even more Halloween fun for the entire family. Dress in your best costume and visit the Zoo for a spooktacular Zoovie Night.

The movie begins at 7:15 p.m. Activities & games will run from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Only guests attending the movie screening will be allowed to remain in the Zoo after 7:00 p.m.
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See Hotel Transylvania at the Zoo this Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
New this fall, weve got even more Halloween fun for the entire family. Dress in your best costume and visit the Zoo for a spooktacular Zoovie Night. 

The movie begins at 7:15 p.m. Activities & games will run from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Only guests attending the movie screening will be allowed to remain in the Zoo after 7:00 p.m.

 

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Houston Zoo what are admission pricing for this event? There is no details on the website. :(

What the prices for the movie

How much

Cory Bebee can we do this Saturday after the birthday party?

Peter Gaytan this would be cool to do with the girls

Ok lobs, so we know where we will be 😎 Radnee okay kaya?

Gracias, no se si podremos ir pero si se acomoda todo ahí estaremos

Philip, movie night at the zoo? 😊

Laura Inman Ricky Heeth this may be fun for yalls kiddos

Sandra Ideker-Soulé dang it I wish I was gonna be here Saturday night I’d totally take ben!!!

Cat Patzen think baby boss would like this?

Mario Mancillas want to take juliette she likes this movie

Darleen is the movie on Saturday?

James Clancy we have to take Chloe!

Brian Williams we should take briley!!

Let’s go I’m down

What happens if it rains?

This looks like fun😃

Heather Bourg Lopez?

Aaron I wanna go

Luis Flores let’s take Lauren

Go next weekend when Im off.

Sergio Navarro Checo this is cool too

Brenda Castro Blanka N Negrete we should go.

Luis Gonzalez we should go??

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Houston Zoo added 6 new photos.
Houston Zoo

Yesterday, Houston Texans Ryan Griffin, Tom Savage, and Nick Martin and their families made some new friends at the Houston Zoo. Thanks for spending your day off with us, guys -- Go Texans! ... See MoreSee Less

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Houston, we are extremely fortunate to have such a fabulous Zoo..! 🤠🙌🏼❤️

Becca Dorris look at all the people you could meet!

Love it!!❤️❤️

Betsy Oliver Freeman Your team!!

Why yes it is!!! 😍👍🏼🏈

Bravo a toute l équipe

Jeanine Davis Pitts

Michael Zarate

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On Sunday, we had our 10,000th trader in the Swap Shop! This special area lets kids trade items found in nature and collect points. Stop by the Naturally Wild Swap Shop in the Children's Zoo on your next visit! ... See MoreSee Less

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On Sunday, we had our 10,000th trader in the Swap Shop! This special area lets kids trade items found in nature and collect points. Stop by the Naturally Wild Swap Shop in the Childrens Zoo on your next visit!

 

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Warning! Long message: We got our snacks ready to go to the zoo, but also packed a ziplock full of clam and oyster shells. Our little one, Maya would be going to the swap shop to earn her first points. She received a big surprise being named the 10000th trader. To commemorate the milestone, Sara and Suzanne made her a certificate and Julie presented her with an amazing display of three beautiful beatles. That was the obvious reward. The less tangible one was the affirmation of our little 4 year old lady's hard work in writing her journals, collecting specimens etc. that the staff gave her. We often, as do many of you all, tell her that those women and men in charge studied a lot to know so much about animals. What they didn't study but what is instead either a part of someone or not is the willingness and desire to affect this little generation of nose-picking, curious goofs. There were 9,999 registered traders before Maya and countless more families that benefit from this knowledgeable and kind staff that time after time has been just pure class with so many of us. From our little troop, a sincere thank you to Suzanne Jurek who came up with the idea to celebrate the 10,000th, Sara Riger for answering so many questions from so many with skill and to Angie Pyle for making the Children's zoo so special. Amber Zelmer, Wendy Morrison, Julie LaTurner, Brian Stuckey, Stephanie Turner, Kimberly Sharkey, Megan Paliwoda, Lisa Cariello all who we've seen throughout the zoo, from petting goats, learning about animal upkeep etc. From the McDonald observatory, Yosemite to Brazos Bend or ‪Huntsville State Park‬, we'll all keep encouraging our little ones to keep digging, asking questions. That is in no small part due to you all. Once again, thank you for being a part of our daughter's life since she was tiny. Also thanks to all of the 9,999 traders and all the others that benefit from the swap shop, our daughter got lucky in getting the prizes but we're most lucky that she has so many other friends with dedicated parents and with similar interests.

We love the Swap Shop!!!!

That’s a great-looking certificate! Whoever made it must be awesome! 😏

Fun, fun, fun! That’s a cool place!!

Bonne équipe j adore

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