Be a Holiday Hero-Recycle Your Old Phone at Zoo Lights!

Did you know you could be a holiday animal hero just by visiting the Houston Zoo this holiday season for our 2nd annual Zoo Lights event? A portion of every ticket sold here at the Houston Zoo goes towards saving animals in the wild. I bet you didn’t know that as a Houston Zoo guest, you are helping us save wildlife and wild places?! Well, it’s true.

And here’s something else to consider. You could be even MORE of a holiday animal hero by visiting our Zoo Lights event AND recycling an old cell phone at our front entrance (we know you have those old phones hidden somewhere!). Here is what you do:

1. Find old phone while cleaning the house and preparing for the holidays (we know this is on the to-do list).

2. Bring that old phone (or phones) with you, walk on up to our main entrance, and drop the phone in the recycling bin by our Guest Relations office (right before you hit the Admissions line!). Give yourself a pat on the back.

2. Visit TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights (6-10pm, Nov. 22nd-Jan. 4th), spend time with family and friends as you look at the beautiful lights throughout the Zoo and leave feeling GREAT that you not only helped animals in the wild by visiting the zoo, but you specifically helped animals like chimpanzees and gorillas by recycling your old cell phone with us.

Save chimps by recycling your old cell phone with us during Zoo Lights!
Save chimps by recycling your old cell phone with us during Zoo Lights!

Wait a minute…how in the world does recycling your cell phone at the zoo help animals like chimpanzees and gorillas?

1. A mineral (called coltan) is found in almost every cell phone, as well as laptops and cameras. This mineral comes from the ground in Central Africa, which happens to be where animals like chimpanzees, gorillas and okapis live.

2. When the mineral is taken from chimpanzee habitats to be used in electronics, the homes of chimps, gorillas and okapis become disrupted and these animal populations decrease.

3. If you recycle your old cell phone with us, then the materials in the phone can be reused instead of getting new minerals from the ground in Central Africa.

4. When you recycle your at the zoo, we return it to a company called Eco-Cell that sells the individual parts of the phone so that they can be reused. Any proceeds then go to conservation efforts to save animals in the wild.

The mineral coltan is found in most phones, and comes from areas in Africa where chimpanzees and gorillas live.
The mineral coltan is found in most phones, and comes from areas in Africa where chimpanzees and gorillas live.

So, bundle up, grab your old phones, and bring your family and friends to our 2nd annual Zoo Lights event-you’ll leave knowing you are an official holiday animal hero!

 

Be a Conservation Hero: Meet MARVEL Characters at the Zoo!

There are so many ways to be a conservation hero, not only at home but at the Zoo too!

We have so many events the weekend of September 21st and 22nd where you can Be a Conservation Hero! Not only can you join us at our Elephant Open House on 9/21 to save elephants in the wild, or visit the Rhino Spotlight on Species on 9/21 and 9/22 and donate a new or gently used wildlife book to educate kids in Zimbabwe living next to rhinos, but you can MEET MARVEL characters Spider-Man and Iron Man! These MARVEL characters will make appearances at the Zoo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 21 and 22, greeting guests and posing for photos – so be sure to bring your camera!

Be a Conservation Hero! Join us the weekend of September 21st and 22nd to meet MARVEL characters, visit the Rhino Spotlight on Species and the Elephant Open House to protect animals in the wild!
Be a Conservation Hero! Join us the weekend of September 21st and 22nd to meet MARVEL characters, visit the Rhino Spotlight on Species and the Elephant Open House to protect animals in the wild!

You’ll also enjoy learning about how YOU can Be a Conservation Hero each and every day as you meet and greet the MARVEL characters.

Here are just some of the ways to Be a Hero and Protect Wildlife:

  • Recycle your old phone at the Zoo! Our recycling bin is next to the main exit by the Gift Shop. Recycling your phone means less waste in the landfill and less minerals taken from chimpanzee and gorilla habitat in Africa which is used in phones, laptops, cameras, etc.
  • Be a responsible consumer! Palm oil is a product found in SO many things-from shampoos to soaps and even some of our favorite candy and snacks! The homes of animals like orangutans are being cut down to plant palm oil, so be aware of what you buy and how it can affect wildlife.
  • Reduce your plastic use! Our Texas Gulf Coast animals (like sea turtles, sharks and birds) can become entangled and/or swallow the plastic we leave on the beach and in the water. Use a canvas bag instead of a plastic grocery bag, buy a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one, and always clean up your trash when you’re at the beach!

We can’t wait to see you at the zoo for this SUPERHERO-sized weekend!

Make sure to check out our blog on the Elephant Open House and the Rhino Spotlight on Species for more information on ways to Be a Conservation Hero!

Be a Rhino Hero: Donate a Wildlife Book!

There are many ways the Houston Zoo works to help protect wildlife, habitats and people around the world. Our guests can be part of the Zoo’s efforts to save wildlife in any number of ways.

Help save rhinos in the wild! Donate a wildlife book at the Rhino SOS on 9/21 or 9/22!
Help save rhinos in the wild! Donate a wildlife book at the Rhino SOS on 9/21 or 9/22!

On September 21st and September 22nd, visit the Houston Zoo for the Rhino Spotlight on Species. The Rhino Spotlight on Species event is FREE with Zoo admission! Learn more about our rhinos at the Zoo and how rhinos are doing in the wild. Be part of this unique event and help save rhinos in the wild by donating a wildlife book at the Zoo between 10:00am and 3:00pm on either day.

Directly contribute to saving rhinos in the wild by bringing in a new or gently used book about wildlife to donate to our friends in the field who are protecting rhinos in Africa. These books will be used to educate local communities in Zimbabwe about their amazing wildlife!

Each person that donates a book will receive a rhino conservation bracelet AND a Houston Zoo Conservation Hero pin!

Book donation details:

    • New or gently used
    • Appropriate for ages 9-12 years
    • Books include photos and information about African animals such as rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, hippos, etc.

Each person that donates a wildlife book on Sept 21st or 22nd will receive a rhino bracelet and a Houston Zoo Conservation Hero pin! *Note 1 bracelet & 1 pin per person.

Each person who brings a new or gently used wildlife book to the Rhino SOS on 9/21 or 9/22 will receive a rhino bracelet and conservation hero pin!
Each person who brings a new or gently used wildlife book to the Rhino SOS on 9/21 or 9/22 will receive a rhino bracelet and conservation hero pin!

Want to be a conservation hero ALL weekend long? Check out some of the other events you can participate in to be a Conservation Hero!

Elephant Open House: Saturday, September 21st from 8:00-10:30am. Buy tickets online now!

-Visit the MARVEL Superheroes Spider-Man and Iron Man at the Houston Zoo on Saturday, September 21st or Sunday, september 22nd from 10am-3pm. This event is FREE with your Zoo admission!

Be an Elephant Hero – Upcoming Elephant Events, Online Auction

At the Houston Zoo we are proud to exhibit some of the world’s most unique, intelligent and fascinating animals. Our Asian elephants at the Zoo are hard to miss- we have lots of them and they are quite big! We are determined to protect our zoo’s elephant counterparts in the wild, both in Asia and Africa, but we can’t do it without you!

Asian elephants at the Houston Zoo
Asian elephants at the Houston Zoo

Did you know you are a conservation hero every time you visit the Zoo? Just by coming here and watching our animals, you are helping to save species in the wild. A portion of every ticket sold goes towards conserving animals in their natural habitats.

Did you know you can be an elephant conservation hero? By attending the Elephant Open House on Saturday, September 21st (8:00am-10:30am) you’ll not only have fun, learn more about our Asian elephant herd and the dedicated keepers that take care of them-you’ll also contribute to efforts to save these giants in the wild??? Sounds like a win-win!

There are so many ways you can be a conservation hero, whether you are hoping to help protect elephants, rhinos, or even toads-we want you to be part of our efforts to save wildlife and wild places!

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Can’t make it to the zoo for our elephant open house but still want to help protect them in the wild?

  • Check out our online auction running September 9th through October 1st. All proceeds help save elephants in the wild. Items range from exclusive dinners at top Houston restaurants to fabric wildlife animals made by women n Rwanda.
  • Join us at our annual Feed Your Wild Life Conservation Gala on October 9th featuring Save The Elephants founder Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton.
  • Join us and other friends in Houston on a March for Elephants on October 4, starting at City Hall.
  • Donate to the Houston Zoo to save wild elephants.

Join us for other conservation hero related events the weekend of September 21st and 22nd. Events include a rhino spotlight on species (celebrating World Rhino Day!) with a wildlife book donation to benefit students in Zimbabwe who live alongside rhinos, and a meet a superhero event featuring MARVEL characters Spider-Man and Iron Man!

Look out for more be a hero blogs here and events on our zoo calendar!

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This morning, we humanely euthanized our male, 20-year-old jaguar, Kan Balam. Due to the tremendous care provided to him by his keepers and our veterinary team, Kan Balam lived well beyond his expected lifespan. Jaguars expected lifespan in the wild is between 12-15 years.

The carnivore staff and veterinary team made the decision after his quality of life began to decline. Quality care and continuous advances in veterinary medicine extends animals’ lives longer than ever, with most felines in human care living well beyond previous generations. Because of this, all cats, including domestic house cats and jaguars, often spend a significant phase of their lives as older animals, and are at a higher risk for geriatric complications.

Read more about Kan B, and the love his keepers had for him on our blog: www.houstonzoo.org/blog/mourning-loss-geriatric-jaguar-kan-balam/
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This morning, we humanely euthanized our male, 20-year-old jaguar, Kan Balam.  Due to the tremendous care provided to him by his keepers and our veterinary team, Kan Balam lived well beyond his expected lifespan. Jaguars expected lifespan in the wild is between 12-15 years. 
 
The carnivore staff and veterinary team made the decision after his quality of life began to decline. Quality care and continuous advances in veterinary medicine extends animals’ lives longer than ever, with most felines in human care living well beyond previous generations. Because of this, all cats, including domestic house cats and jaguars, often spend a significant phase of their lives as older animals, and are at a higher risk for geriatric complications.

Read more about Kan B, and the love his keepers had for him on our blog: https://www.houstonzoo.org/blog/mourning-loss-geriatric-jaguar-kan-balam/

 

Comment on Facebook

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur; happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr #RIP #bigbangtheory

I know he lived a lot longer due to the excellent care he got at the Zoo.

Is this the one that had the limp?

Sorry to hear about your loss. We also lost a jaguar(melanistic variety) at Reid Park Zoo about a year ago. Nikita was 21 years old and was euthanized due to health-related issues. Sad, but they have a GOOD life at the zoo! No predators, a steady food supply, medical attention, loving kindness from her keeper(s) and admiration by the public. Geriatric animals have unique problems and we are blessed to get to know them as long as we do.

This was my daughters favorite critter at the Zoo. We always went to say hello to him before anyone else whenever we went. When she was 7 years old we sent a post out to out neighborhood on Halloween saying Paisley was asking for pocket change donations in lieu of candy for Halloween and all amounts would be donated to Kan thru the zoo. She raised over $40 in coins! I still have the letter from the zoo thanking her for her donation. He was a sweet boy and will be missed. 😔

I saw him limping about 2 weekends ago. The first time we walked by he was fine. When we walked by on the way out he was limping and moaning pretty loudly. I wondered what happened but I figured his keeper already knew or would find out shortly. Super Sad. He was always a lively one.

Jaguar habitat is in the Zoo or Jungle's? ??or is only entertainments for person's? ??$$$$$$$!.Sorry animals the person's don't love you ..

Sending love to the keepers that are broken hearted right now. And thank you for all the care you’ve given.

Dunno if the Zoo staff considered him a pet but he was certainly a family member, and because of that i offer this: RainbowBridge Author Unknown Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Thank you Houston Zoo for taking such good care of him and all the animals! I've been going to this zoo since I was little bitty. I always enjoy it.

Aww. When interning in the carnivore dept he was one of my faves. So smart! Ashley remember when Angie was teaching him to do the moonwalk after Michael Jackson passed?

Beautiful jaguar ....so grateful for the Houston Zoo keepers and veterinary team that gave their time and efforts to share this awesome jaguar with us for so many years.

He was well-cared for and most of all well-loved. My heartfelt condolences to those missing Kan B as well as me. What an amazing ambassador for his kind. What a beautiful old gentleman. Thank you for loving him into old age and giving him peace.

What a great long life he lived because of his excellent care at the zoo Thoughts go out to his keepers and the entire Houston Zoo staff

Thank you for doing what was right and kind for Kan Balam even though it was hard and painful for you. That’s true love for an animal. ❤️

RIP Kan Balam. You have given the visitors so much pleasure just watching you over these years. You were taken care of by top notch professional handlers, etc.

Aww I’m so sorry for the loss, I’ve seen him many times, he was absolutely gorgeous! I’m glad that you guys were able to make him comfortable, sometimes the best thing we can do is let them be at peace. Will miss this handsome guy; play hard at the Rainbow Bridge friend, day hi to my cat, Junior for me!! Much love to the HZI staff!!

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thanks for taking such great care of him so he was able to live a long life. My thoughts are with his keepers and all who adored him. <3

Jaguars are one of my favorite and he seems like a sweet boy. I'm so sad but I'm happy he can be painless and be free now. RIP❤️

The Houston Zoo staff has lost several animals this year and I am sure each one is so hard to go through.

I am soo sorry for the loss of this handsome fella Kan Balam. May he rest in peace and run free or any pain over the rainbow bridge.. My heart and prayers go out to each and every one of the staff at the Zoo.

Katie Rose Buckley-Jones I won’t ever forget the time you asked him to bring something and he ripped off a piece of cardboard and tried to hand it to you ❤️ thank you for introducing me to him. Sending you guys many hugs

So sorry to the keeping staff for your loss i cant imagine how youre feeling :( his old age is a testimony to the amazing care he received

I will miss him. The last time I saw him he looked tired, and it appeared his foot was bothering him.

Sad to hear of this. Thanks for taking such good and compassionate care for him and the other animals.

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Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: I'm still using this.
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Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: Im still using this.

 

Comment on Facebook

Are there some zoo animals that enjoy this weather?

SMG is another reason why Houston Zoo is the best Zoo!

Happy New Year “sea lion keeper “ 💖💖

More snow for TJ and Max ❤️ lucky them!

Are we positive that’s the statue rather than it really just being that cold? 😛

That’s my best friend Sophie for ya! 😂

Brrrrr

Omg the Zoo is so awesome 😂😂😂 Alana Berry

Omg be warm sweetoe

Haha!! Good one!

Sweetie 💞

Ashley Jucker 😂

Lauren Gonzales

Mike DePope

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