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Bringing the Zoo to You

Each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. CST, we host a Facebook Live to bring the Zoo to YOU! Join us for updates of what our furred, flippered, and feathered friends are up to and how our zookeepers are caring for them. Check out our Facebook Live Library below!

We can’t believe Peter Rabbit turns ONE this Saturday! He’s been up to a lot this past year, including learning different training behaviors that help with his medical care and picking up on social cues from his mom and dad.

Bald eagles are considered to be raptors, which means they are birds of prey! 🦅

Missed the up-close action with Berani this morning? Watch the replay of Carnivore Keeper Megan who highlighted some of the husbandry training behaviors with our Malayan tiger. This training helped Berani become the first animal in the Carnivore department to participate in voluntary blood draws during his health exams.

Our John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo is reopening next Wed, March 24! You’ll get to see several animals you’ve been missing, including Fiesta the llama, mongoose, and North American river otters

Please note that our goat yard and Swap Shop will remain closed. You can also sign up for our Virtual Swap Shop! Register here

At nearly 13 feet long, Florence, our green anaconda is native to South America, where her cousins in the wild live in the Amazon rainforests all the way down to the wetlands in the Pantanal.

Our Houston toad recovery program breeding season is officially underway! Since 1978, the Zoo has been working to help save this endangered species after it was almost on the brink of extinction due to rapid urbanization, drought, and most recently wildfires. The next time you visit the Zoo, you can spot Houston toads tucked away in the native amphibian habitat in the Reptile House.

Your favorite flock is back on exhibit! Flamingos get their rosy hue from a beta carotene pigment that is found in much of the food they eat, including shrimp and algae. The next time you visit the Zoo, stop by our Chilean flamingo habitat from the pathway at Texas Wetlands or at the end of South America’s Pantanal.
In case you missed the BIG news, our elephant herd is growing by two! Mother and daughter Asian elephants, Tupelo and Tess, are due within a few weeks of each other this spring.
💕 What’s pink and purple, and covered in hearts? A one-of-a-kind masterpiece created by our adorable red panda, Li Ming! Get your sweetheart a custom painting this Valentine’s Day. Limited supply: bit.ly/3b2UKUM

What’s sweeter than a sea lion nose print? Jonah and his keepers highlighted an animal painting training activity on this morning’s Facebook Live just in time for Valentine’s Day!  

A giraffe’s tongue can be over 1.5 feet long once they’re fully grown! Get up close with our giraffe herd the next time you visit the Zoo during one of our daily giraffe feedings at 11am and 2pm.

Our North American porcupine, Ernie, was excited for this morning’s mini tour of our renovated entrance and new McGovern Plaza! This renovation is helping us make way for construction for the Galapagos Islands, which opens in 2022.

Our nearly eight-month-old Asian elephant, Nelson, reached a BIG milestone this week and now weighs 1,000 pounds! He’s been learning a lot of new training behaviors and will grow to be 10,000-15,000 pounds once he’s fully grown.

December 2020

Pygmy Hippo - December 16

Thank you for joining us in our last Facebook Live of 2020, and for tuning in all year-long! We hope you enjoyed seeing Silas, our pygmy hippo, who made his public debut three weeks ago. You can see him in his exhibit across from the ankole cattle.

We’ll be back in January, Wednesdays at 11am! Happy holidays! 💚

Ambassador Animals with Camp Supervisor Nick - December 9

Tingoora – Ting for short – may look like a dog, but she’s a dingo native to Australia. Unlike dogs, she’s unable to bark but can howl like a wolf, which is a distant relative of theirs.

Shasta - December 2

Although cougars may look like a big cat, they’re actually classified as a small cat. They have the ability to purr, not roar, like cheetahs. If you missed today’s livestream with University of Houston mascot, Shasta, or want to watch it again, check it out online.

November 2020

Curly the Sloth - November 25

Curly is sloth goals. He sleeps anywhere between 18-20 hours a day! Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths are nocturnal and tend to have a great sense of smell.

Orangutans - November 18

Orangutans are the only great ape species that is primarily arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. This week, our newly renovated orangutan habitat reopened and features an additional viewing area for guests, as well as additional shade and naturalistic logs and vines for our orangutans to climb.

Elephant Bath with Baylor - November 11

Every morning, our 11 elephants receive a bath from their zookeepers to ensure they’re healthy and to work on voluntary training behaviors, including checking their feet and mouths. Weighing over 7,000 lbs, it’s important for Baylor and our herd to have their feet regularly checked.

Komodo Dragon - November 4

For millions of years, Komodo dragons have inhabited a small group of Indonesian islands, including Komodo – hence their name!

October 2020

Black Bears - October 28

Belle and Willow, are gearing up for denning season, also known as torpor, where their body temperature and metabolic rate slow down. This means they are less interested in food and may not even need to drink water or pass waste from December-February. Black bears in Texas do not truly hibernate since it doesn’t get as cold in the winter here.

Not-So-Spooky Critters - October 21

We’re still buzzing over today’s Facebook Live! Zookeeper Declan took us up close with a few of our Bug House residents to show you how cool bugs really are and why they aren’t as frightening as you may think.

Goat Tour - October 14

We hope you enjoyed this morning’s walk with our goats, Finnegan, Alvin, and Shadow! No kidding, it was pretty cute!

South America's Pantanal Preview - October 7

We hope you enjoyed this morning’s tour of our South America’s Pantanal, which opens this Saturday! Be among the first to see a variety of animals right here at the Houston Zoo including giant rivers otters, a jaguar, and many more!

September 2020

American Alligators - September 30

American alligators go into a state of hibernation — similar to bears — called brumation, which starts in October and goes until February or March.

Masai Giraffes - September 23

Giraffe’s tongues are dark purple, which helps help protect them from the sun! It’s kind of like sunscreen for the tongue! 🦒 If you missed today’s livestream from the giraffe barn, or just want to watch the replay, check out our Facebook Live library presented by T-Mobile: bit.ly/3iXVe3h

Giant River Otters in Pantanal - September 16

Did you get to meet our giant river otters Dru and Max on this morning’s livestream? If you missed out, or just want to watch it again, check out our Facebook Live library presented by T-Mobile: bit.ly/2wHMYBw

Animal Ambassadors - September 9

Black throated monitors can be found in South Eastern Africa. Did you know that these species are also related to Komodo dragons? We hope you enjoyed today’s live stream!

Amphibians - September 2

Did you know that the Hellbender Salamander has folds on their skin that help them absorb oxygen underwater? Thanks for tuning into today’s live stream with Zookeeper Chris!

August 2020

Farm Animals - August 19

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Winston the pig, Levi the sheep, Fiesta the llama, Zamir the Zebu!

Elephants - August 12

We hope you enjoyed this morning’s #WorldElephantDay live stream!

Peter Rabbit - August 5

We hope you enjoyed this morning’s Peter Rabbit update! 

July 2020

Galapagos Tortoises - July 29

Galapagos tortoises can grow to be about 150 pounds! We hope you enjoyed learning more about our tortoises this morning with Zookeeper Eddie. Watch the replay.

Whooping Cranes - July 22

In the 1940s, there were around only 20 whooping cranes left in the wild. Thanks to conservation efforts, their population has increased and there are now over 850 whooping cranes. Watch this morning’s livestream with Zookeepers Tim and Stephanie.

Sea Lions - July 15

See our sea lions participate in a recycling challenge and take the pledge to reduce your single-use plastics and help save sea lions in the wild!

River Otters - July 8

Learn more about our North American river otters, Jack and Belle, and how you can help save them in the wild by making the switch to reusable water bottles and shopping bags.

Tiny Tenrecs - July 1

Believe it or not, these mighty tenrecs are most closely related to elephants! Learn more about our tenrec trio from Children’s Zoo Supervisor Danielle.

June 2020

Bug House - June 24

Learn more about some of our smallest residents at the Zoo from Zookeeper Declan as we celebrate #InsectWeek!

Curly the Sloth - June 17

Find out more about Curly, our Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, from Zookeeper Tessa!

Ambassador Snakes - June 10

Learn more about two of our Ambassador snakes, William Snakespeare, our ball python, and Jolt, our Sonoran gopher snake, from Camp Supervisor Nick!

Reopening Modifications - June 1

Check out our final daily Bringing the Zoo to You Facebook Live as Jackie, our director of public relations shares more about some of the modifications you can expect when you visit the Zoo and some of the items you can purchase at our gift shop.

May 2020

Baby Nelson - May 29

Learn more about our herd from Rob, our elephant manager, and see the youngest member, Nelson, up close!

Reopening FAQs

Hear from Jackie, our director of public relations, as she shares more about the Zoo’s reopening plans and answers frequently asked questions from viewers.

South America's Pantanal - May 27

Check out a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of our upcoming South America’s Pantanal exhibit opening later this year.

Rhino Bath - May 26

Learn more about our southern white rhino, George, from Zookeeper John as gets a bath.

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Western Lowland Gorillas - May 22

Learn more about our bachelor gorilla troop from Zookeeper Ashley as she does an ice pop toss to them as part of today’s enrichment.

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Schmidt's Red-Tailed Monkey - May 21

Learn more about our youngest Schmidt’s red-tailed guenon, Peter Rabbit, from Zookeeper Miriam!

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Pollinators - May 20

Learn more about our pollinators from Children’s Zoo Supervisor Michelle as we chat with Rodeo Houston!

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Sea Turtles Release - May 19

Watch Zookeepers Andy and Cody from the Houston Zoo’s Sea Turtle Hospital release three green sea turtles back into the wild.

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Masai Giraffes - May 18

Just like humans, giraffes have seven neck vertebrae! Learn more about our Masai giraffes from Zookeeper Kendall!

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Attwater's Prairie Chickens - May 15

Learn more from Zookeeper and APC Recovery Program Coordinator, Amber, as she takes you on a behind the scenes look at the work we’re doing to restore the Attwater’s prairie chicken population in the wild.

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Turtle Building - May 14

Watch as Zookeeper Chris gives viewers a behind the scenes tour of our Turtle Building.

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Guam Rail and Golden Lion Tamarins - May 13

Learn how we’re helping save birds in the wild like the Guam Rail from Bird Curator Hannah and see our Ambassador Guam Rail, Hurao, clean the waterways as part of his training. Zookeepers Sydney and Tessa are also sharing more about the endangered golden lion tamarins.

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Coquerel's Sifaka - May 12

Sifakas can jump 20 feet from tree to tree! Learn more about our sifaka family from Zookeeper Tiffany!

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Jaguars - May 11

Jaguars have the strongest bite force of any cat! Watch our female jaguar jump 9 feet in the air for her bone-in meat enrichment and learn more about this elusive big cat species from Zookeeper Tori.

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Behind-the-Scenes Birds - May 8

Ahead of World Migratory Bird Day, we’re taking you behind the scenes to introduce you to a few of our bird species that are off exhibit with Zookeeper Jessica.

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Elephant Bath - May 7

See our oldest male elephant, Thailand, who will be 55 in June, get an elephant bath from Zookeepers Mandy and Kim.

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Unusual Fish - May 6

Banded archer fish shoot a jet of water at their prey to knock it into the water! Learn more about some of our unusual fish in our Natural Encounters building from Zookeepers Kenny and Denise.

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Swap Shop - May 5

Learn more about the Swap Shop and how trading works from Senior Naturalist Sara and even meet a few of our Texas native Ambassador Animals with Zookeeper Tianna.

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Ankole Cattle - May 4

Ankole cattle date back 4,000 years ago! Learn more about our three Ankole cattle from Zookeeper Memory.

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Komodo Dragon - May 1

Komodo dragons are the largest living lizard in the world! We’re taking viewers up close with Boga, our 12-year-old Komodo dragon as he eats a whole pig to help exercise his jaw and encourage natural behaviors they would display in the wild.

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April 2020

Lions - April 30

Learn more about our lion pride from Carnivore Supervisor Kathy and see them interact with a variety of enrichment.

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Houston Toads - April 29

Learn how we are helping save Houston toads in the wild through our Houston Toad Recovery Program and meet Zookeepers Matt and Brittanie.

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North American Porcupine - April 28

Zookeeper Russell shares more about one of our Ambassador Animals, Ernie, the North American Porcupine.

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Baird's Tapirs - April 27

Zookeeper Kendall shares more about two of our Baird’s tapirs, Molli and Frida for #WorldTapirDay.

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Pollinators - April 24

Bennett takes us up close with Milly, our three-banded armadillo, and Anna from Horticulture.

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Tenrec - April 23

Zookeeper Lisa shares more about one of our nocturnal friends, Ninerec the tenrec!

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Orangutans - April 22

Zookeeper Cheka shares more about our orangutans, Rudi and Kelly from their habitat!

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Texas Wetlands - April 21

Water Quality Technician Karen takes us on an up-close look from inside our Kathrine G. McGovern Texas Wetlands.

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North American River Otters - April 20

Learn more about the playful North American river otter from Zookeeper Jay and meet otters, Jack and Belle!

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Texas Snakes - April 17

Texas is home to more snake species than any other state in the U.S. Learn more about some of our native species from Zookeeper Chris!

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Meerkats - April 16

Did you know meerkats can dig 6-7 ft. below ground! Learn more about our mob from Zookeeper Hayley as she takes you up close with our meerkats.

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Flamingos - April 15

Learn more about our flamboyance of flamingos from Zookeeper Steve!

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Coastal Pool - April 14

Zookeeper Heather takes viewers up close at our Coastal Pool to learn more about our brown pelicans, ruddy ducks, and laughing gull.

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Okapi - April 13

Okapis are the only living relative of giraffes. Learn more about our Okapis, Kwame and Sukari from Zookeeper Jessica.

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Asian Small-Clawed Otters - April 10

It’s about to get otterly adorable! Zookeeper Priscilla shares more about our two Asian small-clawed otters, Danh Tu and Hope.

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Vet Clinic - April 9

Take a behind scenes look at our veterinary clinic with Dr. Joe as Dr. Judilee performs an exam on a wild green sea turtle.

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Mole Rats - April 8

Learn more about one of the most unique mammals in the world from Zookeeper Hayley and Peter, vice president of conservation & education.

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Southern White Rhino - April 7

Zookeeper Memory is taking you behind the scenes to meet Mumbles our white rhino!

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Galapagos Tortoises - April 6

Our Zookeepers Scott, Chris, and Priscilla are taking you up close to meet the largest living tortoise, the Galapagos tortoise, along with a few of our other tortoise species.

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Bug House - April 3

We’re taking you behind the scenes at the Bug House with Zookeeper Julie and General Curator Kevin!

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Cougars - April 1

General Curator Kevin and our Carnivore team are sharing all about our cougars, Shasta and Haley, from our cougar den.

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March 2020

Green-winged Macaw - March 31

Zookeeper Sydney is here to tell you all about Clark, our green-winged macaw, including his favorite song!

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Red Pandas - March 30

Zookeepers Marisol and Natalie are sharing more about our adorable red pandas, Li Ming and Také.

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Clouded Leopards - March 27

Our Zookeepers Kathy and Danielle are taking you on an up-close adventure with our clouded cubs, Nova and Luna!

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Sea Lions - March 26

Get an up-close look at sea lion training and enrichment with sea lions Jonah and Kamia along with their keepers Sophie, Krista, and Amanda.

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Whooping Cranes - March 25

Once on the brink of extinction, learn more about our whooping cranes, Heiden and Angel, who reside in our Kathrine G. McGovern Texas Wetlands Exhibit. Bird Zookeeper Kelly takes us up close!

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Chimpanzees - March 24

Meet Primates Zookeepers Agnieszka and Victoria as they highlight our chimpanzee troop.

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Banded Mongoose - March 23

Learn more about our mongoose mob from Children’s Zookeeper Brian.

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Curly the Sloth - March 20

Hang with Curly the sloth and his zookeepers and learn more about our two-toed sloth.

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Elephant Bath - March 19

Zookeepers Mandy and Kim take us up-close during an elephant bath with elephants Tess, Tupelo, and Tilly. Tune in to see the surprise cameo!

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Cheetah Walk - March 18

Tag along on a cheetah walk with the carnivore team and Dash, one of our male cheetahs here at the Zoo.

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Goat Social Party - March 17

It’s a goat social! Children’s Zookeepers Natalie and Dan are bringing some of our adorable goats to you.

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Giraffe Feeding - March 16

Our giraffes can brighten anyone’s day! Elephant zookeepers Heather and John share all about our giraffe herd.

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