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Zoo News Blog

Who’s New at the Houston Zoo

Zoo’s Newest Additions: elephant, giraffe, capybaras and more!

The Zoo has some new adorable residents this summer. A few of the newest additions were born at the Zoo while others moved to Houston on breeding recommendations. The Houston Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participates in the Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program which oversees the population of select species within AZA member organizations to ensure a genetically diverse, demographically varied, and a biologically sound population.

On April 3, the Zoo welcomed five new capybaras who have affectionately been named after popular pasta varieties. Guests can see Bowtie, Ravioli, Rigatoni, Macaroni, and Gnocchi when they visit them in the South America’s Pantanal exhibit. Capybaras are the largest rodent in the world and their name means “master of the grasses.” Watch these im-pasta-bly cute pups play and swim all summer long.

Tino the Masai giraffe was born overnight on April 27 after his keepers kept a watchful eye on his mom, Kamili, during her 14-month pregnancy. Dad, Zawadi, came to the Zoo in 2022 at the recommendation of AZA’s Masai Giraffe SSP. Tino measured approximately six feet at birth and is growing quickly, currently measuring about seven feet tall. Guests can see Tino with the rest of the giraffe herd in the McGovern Giraffe Habitat and feed the herd during one of the two daily public feedings at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.

Guests can also visit the Zoo’s latest 9,500-pound elephant addition packed with personality, 15-year-old Asian elephant Chuck. Chuck was born at African Lion Safari in Ontario, Canada and spent the last six years with Denver Zoo’s bull herd of Asian elephants. Chuck is now ready for his next adventure where he will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the ladies next door in the cow yard. Until then, guests can see Chuck getting to know his new herd, Thailand (58), Tucker (19), and Nelson (4) 

Guests who visit Houston Zoo this summer to see the new capybaras, giraffe and Asian elephant are helping to save their wild counterparts. A portion of each Zoo membership and tickets goes toward supporting the Zoo’s on-the-ground conservation partners in South America, Africa and Asia who are working to save local species.