Love at the Houston Zoo
There’s someone for everyone this Valentine’s Day at the Houston Zoo! From young love to forever love to sibling love there are many bonds among animals at the Zoo. Asian small-clawed otters Danh Tu and Athena experienced love at first sight when they were introduced in 2021 and have been inseparable ever since. During the day, the pair enjoys hunting for food and exploring various kinds of daily enrichment set out by their animal care team so they can practice natural behaviors. When not eating or playing, Danh Tu and Athena can be seen taking naps together.
As the Asian small-clawed otters enjoy the bliss of young love, radiated tortoises Mr. and Mrs. Pickles are in it for the long haul. At 90 years old, Mr. Pickles is the oldest animal at the Zoo. Mrs. Pickles is a spry 53 years old. The two tortoises have been together since 1998. While the couple is a popular pair among guests, they are also critically endangered in the wild. Radiated tortoises are considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful tortoises. The carapace is brilliantly marked with yellow lines radiating from the center of each dark plate of the shell, hence its name.
Grant’s zebras Kapuki and Rosalita are the Zoo’s two female zebras who share a special sister-like bond. They became instant “besties” and took to each other quickly. While they enjoy spending time together eating alfalfa hay, they have very different personalities. Kapuki is older, more dominant, and enjoys people-watching and Rosalita is the more playful, brave, and most eager to explore of the two. While all zebras have unique stripes, what makes Grant’s zebras different from other zebra species is how their stripes wrap all the way around their bellies.
Guests can come to the Zoo to see these animals and learn more about their special bonds and other forms of companionship. When guests come to the Zoo, they help to save animals in the wild by purchasing a paperless ticket online. By using less paper products there are fewer trees being cut down and more trees for animals in the wild.