The oldest living thing at the Houston Zoo

There are many living things within the boundaries of the Houston Zoo. Can you guess what the oldest living thing here is? The first thing a lot of people think of is perhaps a parrot, or a tortoise. There are days that the zookeepers work so hard they may feel like they are the oldest thing in the zoo.  But all of those answers are wrong.

Live_Oak-0020-7303Near the jaguar exhibit and Wortham World of Primates is a magnificent live oak tree. It is cared for by our wonderful Horticulture Department with love and patience, and it pre-dates any other living thing in the zoo. Here are some of the things that have happened while it was growing into the amazing tree it is today:

While not an exact measurement of age, some formulas estimate that the tree was germinated in approximately 1721, making it about 293 years old. Settlers were just beginning to come to the area, and there was a lot of unrest with the Native Americans living here.

The construction of a church in San Antonio that would later be known as the Alamo was begun in 1744. The tree was already 23 years old.

In 1832, the Allen Brothers began to buy land in the area.  In 1836, they founded Houston, and Sam Houston captured Santa Anna that same year. The tree was now approximately 115 years old.

In 1845, Texas became the 28th state. Our tree had already been here for 124 years.Live_Oak-0016-7290

When the infamous Hurricane of 1900 hit the Texas coast, Galveston was devastated and many lives were lost. The tree was then approximately 179 years old and survived the remnants of the storm that moved inland.

The tree saw the first automobile arrive in Houston in 1901, and the Houston Ship Channel completion in 1914. When the tree was approximately 214 years old, the first air service was brought to Houston with Braniff Airlines.

The Houston Zoo was started in 1914, and moved to Hermann Park in 1922. The tree was approximately 201 years old when the zoo began to grow up around it.

Some of the zoo staff fondly refers to the tree as “Abuelo” (Grandfather).  Rather aptly named, since Live_Oak-0017-7299this tree has seen staff come and go, and yet it still stands. It has seen battles, storms, construction and a lot of change and yet, still it stands.

Next time you come to the zoo, stop for a moment and consider our old Grandfather, and everything this tree has seen.



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Keep the animals warm!

Why? What's goin on!?

Stay warm as you take care of our lovely zoo and it’s residents❤️

Misty Flanigan no zoo for Connor

Thank you to all the wonderful staff that went in to take care of their critter babies! Be safe!

Stay warm sweet animals 🦁🐯🐒🦆🐅🐆🦓🦏🐘🦍🦒

Too cold! Good idea.

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We are open on this beautiful Monday! Get out and enjoy the weather before it gets extra chilly this week.

 

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Giraffe feeding was awesome! Only wished we were given even more lettuce!

Had a great time today

We are here. 😀

Don't miss out before we turn off the lights! This is the last weekend for TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights. Bundle up, grab your friends and family and join us for Houston's favorite hoilday tradition.

We even have a special discount to end the season. For just $9 per person, you get to see all two million lights, Candy the Zoo Lights Zebra, and musical reflection pool! zoolights.houstonzoo.org/get-tickets/
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Dont miss out before we turn off the lights! This is the last weekend for TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights. Bundle up, grab your friends and family and join us for Houstons favorite hoilday tradition. 

We even have a special discount to end the season. For just $9 per person, you get to see all two million lights, Candy the Zoo Lights Zebra, and musical reflection pool! https://zoolights.houstonzoo.org/get-tickets/

 

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My daughter lost her FAVORITE stuffed animal last night. We were there after 8:30. Please contact me if found. She is very very sad

Dianne Ramboer Dunn and Wendy Martinez we're going tonight! Maybe I'll go live for you, grandma! : )

We visited today for daughters 3rd birthday, thank you we had a great day. It was a bit cold so we bundled up and enjoyed the zoo being so quiet, we got to feed giraffes twice! Would recommend!

How is it $9?

Cuanto esta la eñtrada y ban estar las luces mañana para ir com mi familia?

When is the last day to see the lights?

Lupe Mcmillon you should take Emma and Ethan

Aldo Castellanos Isabel Zamarripa-Hernandez Juan Francisco Hernandez $9 el boleto, que dicen?? Este es el último fin de semana

Busca quien nos lleve jajaja Socorro Garcia Ponce 🤣😂

Patricia Lozada tomorrow at 6pm meet us there? :0)

Debbie R Hernandez-Sanchez

Angel Rodriguez

Roxy AR

Valarie Ann Romero

Enrique Gonzalez last chance

Erica Villarreal 9$

Kayla Fitzpatrick

Macie Quick

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Griseldaa Chavezz

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