“So You Play with Animals All Day?”

This blog was written by Houston Zoo employee: Leia Cook, Early Childhood Programs Coordinator.


My name is Leia Cook and I get this question a lot. I am not sure what surprises people most, the fact they’ve met someone who works at a zoo or that I don’t really play with the animals all day. I am actually part of a team called the Conservation Education department and have recently (and proudly) reached my one-year anniversary at Houston Zoo this past summer. When I first came aboard, I was assigned the Home School section of the education department. I was responsible for coordinating the program which included four, fun, yet educational, days on zoo grounds and one field day out at Texas City Prairie Reserve. It was my first foot into the door and it was pretty cool. But soon after I came on board, our department received a makeover and we shook some things up.


You see, during the summer the Houston Zoo hosts a children’s camp. The ages ranged from four years old to the age of 12. For the entire summer, I worked with the “littles” as we called them. Our four and five age groups were by far, the most entertaining ones to me! Once you got past the “I miss my mommy” tears during the morning drop off, these kids were ready and raring to go! They are always so full of life and some are extremely knowledgeable about the animals at that age! I had a blast with the “littles” and it showed. When Melanie, our Senior Director of Conservation Education, was hired, she decided to chat with us about our positions. In this meeting, we asked her suggestions on where she saw each of our team members excelling. It was then, I was officially given my niche of Early Childhood.

My full title is a bit of a mouthful. I am the Early Childhood Programs Coordinator. While the name is big, the program has some catching up to do! I am currently coordinating the only program under this umbrella, Wild Wheels. Wild Wheels is geared towards zero to three years olds and their adults. It offers them a front of scenes tour and classroom time where they have an array of nature items like smooth river rocks, pine cones and tree cookies for manipulation. One of the highlights is the sensory bin which is filled with a unique substance each time they come to class. They also have a chance to meet and maybe even touch an animal friend.

rainbow-bubbles-binIn the coming months, it will be my job to build as well as expand upon the early childhood programs. Using the zoos mission, I intend to create a number of opportunities for children and their adults to begin their connection to nature.

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If you're headed out to Bayou Greenway Day tomorrow, stop by our Zoomobile and say hello! We'd love to see your smiling face and talk to you about wildlife and how you can save animals in the wild.

Bayou Greenway DayMarch 24, 2018, 11:00amTidwell ParkBayou Greenway Day will be full of family-friendly activities, games, live music, FREE food and more. Get to know Halls Bayou Greenway and explore all the fun outdoor activities you can enjoy there.


🏈⚽️ Sports activities with the @[51931216313:274:Houston Texans] and @[20105631149:274:Houston Dynamo]! Mascots, cheerleaders, coaching drills, enthusiasm, and fun for the whole family.

🥁 🎷Live music from @[1381368518823684:274:ThunderSOUL Orchestra]!

⚾️First 3,000 attendees will receive a FREE @[91703305430:274:Houston Astros] cap!

🏃‍♀️ Fun Run/Walk to begin at 12 p.m.

🍭🐇 Easter egg hunt at 2 p.m.

Learn more at bayougreenwayday.org
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Bayou Greenway Day



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Houston Zoo shared Chron.com from the Houston Chronicle's live video.
Houston Zoo

Today, we took snakes (and our snake expert!) over to the Houston Chronicle to talk about why these amazing animals are awesome. Check it out! www.facebook.com/chroncom/videos/10157028891332814/

Chron.com from the Houston Chronicle
Today our friends from the Houston Zoo are at the Houston Chronicle to show us a few of the snakes from their collection and to answer some of your snake-related questions. As the weather warms up many Texans will be seeing more snakes in the wild and they have some tips on safety around them.

READ MORE: www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/houton-snakes-texas-venomous-poisonous-color-12288...
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Is there validity to this?