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Zoo News Blog

Saving Wildlife in Partnership with Chevron

It’s been 5 years since we launched the Keeping Our World Wild: Centennial Campaign with a goal to transform our campus with new exhibits. As part of this $150 million campaign, we designated $5 million to go directly to our conservation partners around the globe. Chevron has been a key supporter of the Houston Zoo for many years, and we were thrilled when they pledged $1.3 million towards the conservation portion of our Centennial Campaign to help save animals in the wild. 

Saving Wildlife from the Wetlands of Texas to the South America’s Pantanal 

Did you know that many exhibits at the Zoo represent habitats where our conservation partners do wildlife-saving work?  The next time you come out to the Zoo, stop by our newest exhibits, the Kathrine G. McGovern Texas Wetlands and South America’s Pantanal to see some of the species being studied and protected. Two species that are part of conservation efforts supported by the Zoo and Chevron are giant anteaters and whooping cranes. 

The Anteaters & Highways Project uses tracking collars to study the movement of giant anteaters and road encounters

The Giant Anteaters & Highways Project has provided vital data to scientists studying the impact of Brazil’s ever-increasing networks of roads on wildlife, and in particular, giant anteaters. The Houston Zoo also provides training for project staff like Dr. Debora Regina Yogui, a veterinarian who was able to visit the Zoo and train alongside our own veterinarian team this past summer. Chevron helped the Zoo outfit five anteaters with tracking collars. Dr. Yogui and her team used data from collars to create the first manual in Brazil on wildlife vehicle collision mitigation strategies that has been endorsed by the state government – meaning that future highways can be built with animals in mind! 

Closer to home in Texas, the International Crane Foundation – a longtime conservation partner of the Houston Zoo whose ongoing efforts are bolstered by Chevron’s generosity – is working tirelessly to protect whooping cranes. The magnificent 5-foot-tall cranes were nearly extinct back in the 1940s, with only around 15 individuals in the wild. Thanks in part to Chevron’s support of groups like the International Crane Foundation, the cranes are making a comeback. By sharing informational packets with hunters and private landowners, the Foundation educates the public about these majestic birds. With just over 500 whooping cranes in the wild, protecting every individual is vital to the species’ survival.  

The International Crane Foundation helps educate the public about whooping cranes, which come every winter to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

As you enjoy watching the animals in their habitats on your next visit to the Zoo, remember that partners like Chevron – and your visit to the Zoo – are helping to save these animals’ wild counterparts!