The Naturally Wild Swap Shop adds it’s 10,000th Trader

On October 15, 2017, The Naturally Wild Swap Shop in the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo reached a huge milestone. We registered our 10,000th trader!

The honor was awarded to Maya Rojo. She is 4 years old and was so excited!

The Rojo family includes Oscar, Vanessa and of course, Maya.   Oscar is originally from El Paso and Vanessa is from McAllen but they made their way to Houston as soon as they could and have lived here for over 17 years now.  They are proud Rice and University of Houston alums.  Maya herself is a native Houstonian.

The Rojo Family are long time lovers of nature and the Houston Zoo. The Houston Zoo is just one of the places they go to fulfill their need for nature.  Their love of the outdoors has taken them to Brazos Bend, Huntsville State Park, Yosemite and more.

Following her parents lead, Maya is also a lover of nature. Her favorite animal is probably her dog Teddy, but she also loves finding garden insects – specifically praying mantis and lady bugs.  She loves pelicans and has had some great morning sightings at Huntsville State Park.  She will be soon going to visit her Tito and Tita in Corvallis, Oregon and hopes to see some wild turkeys when she is there.

They all learned about the Swap Shop during a presentation in the Children’s Zoo and had come in multiple times before Maya actually signed up and made her first trade. They had made a trip to Galveston and searched for shells to bring in.  Maya found some beautiful clam and oyster shells.  They also learned about jellyfish  careful to avoid stepping on them while hunting for shells.  Her shell treasures earned her points to spend in the Swap Shop and as a part of her award as 10,000th trader she also received 1,000 points along with a certificate and an amazing insect display!

Mr and Mrs Rojo had some wonderful things to say about the Swap Shop in response to Maya’s award.

Today we got our snacks ready to go to the zoo, but also packed a ziplock full of clam and oyster shells.  Our little one, Maya would be going to the swap shop to earn her first points.  She received a big surprise being named the 10000th trader. To commemorate the milestone, the staff made her a certificate and presented her with an amazing display of three beautiful beetles.  That was the obvious reward.  The less tangible one was the affirmation of our little 4-year-old lady’s hard work in writing her journals, collecting specimen etc. that the staff gave her.  We often, as do many others, tell her that those women and men in charge studied a lot to know so much about animals.  What they didn’t study but what is instead either a part of someone or not is the willingness and desire to affect this little generation of nose-picking, curious goofs.  There were 9,999 registered traders before Maya and countless more families that benefit from this knowledgeable and kind staff that time after time has been just pure class with so many of us.  From our little troop, a sincere thank you to Suzanne Jurek who came up with the idea to celebrate the 10,000th, Sara Riger for answering so many questions from so many with skill and to Angie Pyle for making the Children’s zoo so special.  Amber Zelmer, Wendy Morrison, Julie LaTurner, Brian Stuckey, Stephanie Turner, Kimberly Sharkey, Megan Paliwoda, Lisa Cariello all who we’ve seen throughout the zoo, from petting goats, learning about animal upkeep etc. From the McDonald’s observatory, Yosemite to Brazos Bend or Huntsville State Park, we’ll all keep encouraging our little ones to keep digging, asking questions.  That is in no small part due to you all.  Once again, thank you for being a part of our daughter’s life since she was tiny. Oscar, Vanessa and Maya

The Rojo family are involved in charity here and in Mexico. They have a small charity in San Miguel de Allende that focuses on academic support.  They also like creating a sense of community with some efforts in the Houston area.

They love coming to the zoo specifically what they consider to be the dynamic areas including the Swap Shop. They consider the Naturally Wild Swap Shop a connection to the outside world and for one, their Maya loves it.

We are so grateful that the Rojo family has shared their little Maya with us. We value every one of our 10,000 traders and love sharing our time and knowledge with each one of them.

Want more information about the Naturally Wild Swap Shop? Click here.

April’s Featured Members: The Kong-Saibi Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a Zoo Member family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to April’s Featured Members: The Kong-Saibi Family.


We asked Jennifer to share a few words about what being a Zoo Member means to her family. Here’s what she had to say.

april member 2“Having grown up in Houston, I have fond memories myself of time at the Zoo. Now, married with two daughters Madeline & Margaret, we are members because I wanted the girls to be able to enjoy and make memories of their own at the Houston Zoo, deepen their love of animals big and small, and learn to respect and support wildlife and natural habitats.

We have been members for the past seven years, since our oldest daughter was born. Our Zoo Membership is an annual Christmas gift from my mom who supports the Zoo in her own right, volunteering as a clown through her church on Dreamnight, an event held for children who are chronically ill and disabled children and their families.
Being a Zoo member has many advantages. It allows us to visit often, the flexibility to stop in when we have just a couple of hours to spend, to meet friends for play dates, or to spend the entire morning or evening there if we have the time!

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Over the years, we’ve enjoyed the many events the Houston Zoo has for its member families, including the Zoo Boo, Zoo Lights, and school holiday camps. We also love Member Saturdays, when we are able to enjoy the Zoo an hour earlier than the general public, a time when many of the animals are much more active!

What we love about the Zoo is that though it is on a fixed piece of land, it is always growing and evolving. Each time we go, it seems as though there is something new that we’ve never before seen. We also enjoy the fact that the Zoo is a place that individuals of all ages enjoy, and that our children have and will continue to enjoy through the years.
I am proud to also work for a small business, Cammarata Pediatric Dentistry Group, that has been a great supporter of the Houston Zoo. We even have some artwork at our Central office designed by one of the zoo’s residents, the meerkats!”


From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to the Kong-Saibi family and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our Zoo and conservation efforts. THANKS!

Featured Members: The Daoust Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a Zoo Member family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to February’s Featured Members: The Daoust Family.


We asked Mrs. Daoust to share a few words about what being a Zoo Member means to her. Here’s what she had to say.

feb member “As a mother of three and a native Houstonian, I am always trying to find the best places to take my kids; many of them are new to all of us, but some of the places bring back memories from my own childhood. The zoo is, hands down, our favorite place in Houston. I love taking my kids there, and we all know the zoo like it’s our own backyard, yet we seem to discover something new or have a different experience each visit. Recently, my older kids have become interested in the swap shop, and they love trying to find interesting things in nature to exchange. However, what they are the most excited about is sharing everything they love at the zoo with their new baby sister.

My family has had a membership at the zoo for about 7 years. In the first couple years, I pushed a single stroller with my eager and curious daughter, planning each visit around her favorite animals: the elephants, sea lions, and big cats. Soon enough, I was cruising around the zoo with a double jogger, making sure that each visit included a carousel ride, a trip to the playground, many animal sightings, a crawl (or two or three or thirty) through the tunnel in the Natural Encounters house, and a stroll past the monkeeeeeys for my son. Now, we go as a family of five with two big kids leading the way and another eager and curious daughter in the single stroller. We never miss the African Forest, which houses my favorite animals, the majestic giraffes, and my husband insists on going through the bug house, despite the terrifying cockroaches, because he was one of the engineers for that exhibit. We all challenge ourselves to see if we can make it to every corner of the zoo. We don’t want to miss anything!

feb member2Our family also loves to attend the special zoo events, like Zoo Boo and Zoo Lights. It is so fun to go to these events with friends and family. As the coach of my daughter’s soccer team, I schedule a team outing to Zoo Boo each year. The kids have so much fun in their costumes, dancing along to monster mash, trick-or-treating, and painting pumpkins. We adults have a great time too!

Whether we just go for a quick dinner with the giraffes or stay for a long Saturday, the zoo never gets old. I really look forward to many more years as a member and continuing to discover more of what we love about the zoo!”

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to the Daoust family and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our Zoo and conservation efforts. THANKS!

Featured Members: The Gurbach Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our November Featured Members: The Gurbach Family.


We asked the Gurbach family to tell us about their experience at the Zoo and why they are members. This is what they had to say:gurbach2

“When our son, Riley, was six months, he really liked animals. We took him to the zoo, and he immediately fell in love with the Mandrills, laughing at their colorful bodies and trying to talk to them.  We upgraded our tickets to a membership that visit and starting planning his first birthday at the zoo.  He is now 7 and we still go almost every member Saturday and a few other times during the year.

Why is the zoo still a big part of our lives even after all of these years? Well, Riley still loves animals, and the peaceful atmosphere and special programs the zoo has to offer keeps us coming back. Also, we travel a lot around the country.  The zoo reciprocity program is an added benefit that keeps us members as well.  It offers discounted rates to other zoos in in other states all across the US. However, we can happily say that even after visiting zoos across the United States; we always want to return to “our” zoo. It is hands down the best zoo in the country!gurbach3


The Swap Shop is also one of the best programs at the Houston Zoo.  Riley’s has been trading since he could talk and loves to visit and learn from the staff.  Ms. Suzanne or Ms. “Zoo” as Riley called her when he was two, loves to see the bugs Riley brings in.  He has learned about the cuckoo wasp, praying mantis, moths/butterflies, and numerous other insects that he has traded for rocks to add to his rock and mineral collection.  We love that each zoo member treats us like extended family and enjoys imparting knowledge on every visit. They know us and our family when we walk in and always make an effort to show us that even though the zoo has thousands of visitors, we are important to them.  Also, we participate in  Zoo Boo, Zoobilee, and Zoo Lights every year that encourage Riley to learn about his environment and help animals all over the world.gurbach
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After we fell in love with the Houston Zoo, we started to bring anyone that would come with us. Now most of our family and close friends are members as well, and we never know who we are
going to run into on Early Member Saturdays. The zoo has helped us build seven years of memories, and we know that there are many years of good memories to
come.”

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to The Gurbach’s and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our zoo and conservation efforts. THANKS!

Featured Members: The Anello Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our Featured Members for October: The Anello Family.


We asked the Anello’s to tell us about their experience at the Zoo and why they are Members. Here’s what they had to say:

“We live in the Old Sixth Ward, so we’re a quick ten minute drive from the Zoo. We became members when our son Phineas was less than a year old. Back then, the Zoo was one of our primary outing destinations. We were at the Zoo easily once a month and attended all the special member events: Zoobilee, the African Forest preview, Member Mornings, you name it. As he got older, we found that we weren’t able to get to the Zoo as much but we kept our membership because we wanted to support the Zoo and love having the flexibility to visit whenever we can. We also have really come to enjoy the magazine and annual calendar.

featured members anello

 

Finally, we were able to visit in late August to celebrate the last day of summer vacation and we had a fantastic experience. Phineas loves learning about animals and has become quite the walking encyclopedia of animal knowledge gathered from books and TV. He walked into the Zoo with a mental list of all the animals he wanted to see because he’d read about them but hadn’t seen them up close: the albino alligator and the black mamba snake topped his list. He quickly grabbed a map and – thanks to the new letter labeling on the map and within the Zoo – he was able to navigate and – bonus! –  we were able to practice his map skills.  For the rest of the visit, it felt like our lucky day.

featured members anello2 We had the good fortune to catch a keeper talk with Victoria about the Indigo Snake, then we made it in time to feed a giraffe, then we sat down for lunch and got a great member meal deal on a Texas Patty Melt! Best. Zoo Meal. EVER. It was also great to see the focus our Zoo has on protecting animals and their habitats around the globe. We’ve always felt so lucky to live so close to a world class Zoo. It feels even better to be members of a Zoo that is far, far more than a park with animals available for viewing.

Cosimo, our youngest son who is now five months old, benefited nicely from the shady stroll and long nap.”

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to the Anello’s and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our Zoo and conservation efforts. THANKS!

Featured Members: The Garcia Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our August Featured Members: The Garcia Family.


We asked the Garcia’s to tell us about their experience at the Zoo and why they are Members. Here’s what they had to say:
garcia members“Yano and I are Houston natives and the zoo has always been a part of our lives. The Houston Zoo represented family, fun, education and very hot Houston summers. As we grew into adulthood, the two of us realized the bigger advantage of our zoo; its impact on education, conservation and ecological research. Animals are a huge passion of ours and we have even gifted the “behind the scenes” experiences to my mom (who visited so many times that the zoo keepers started remembering her name). I even got to feed Satu the tiger with my best friend before our son, Isaac was in the picture. During my pregnancy we visited a few times and it was never a question that we would soon be able to take our son! It was a pretty exciting time for us.

We waited quite a while to visit with him since he is so young and it does get so hot here. In the spring, we took advantage of the mild weather and FINALLY brought him to experience the zoo. Now let me preface by explaining Isaac a bit to you; he is one SERIOUS baby. When Isaac was a bit younger, we started a “mini menswear blog” featuring Isaac modeling sophisticated baby clothes. He has always been very comfortable in front of a camera and developed a too cool for school “model face.” As such, Isaac is fully aware of the camera and very rarely smiles in front of it.

So, we set out for his first visit to the zoo, camera in hand, not expecting full smiles but still getting some great memory shots. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!!! He was into it the moment we got there and by the time we made our way to feed the giraffes he was BEAMING. It was the biggest smile I had ever seen on his face the photo of it still makes me tear up. He also got his very first love at the zoo, in the form of a neon green stuffed that he picked out himself from the gift shop that day.
garcia members2

garcia members1After that, we knew we would be back and became Zoo Members a few months later. When we were planning his second birthday, we knew immediately that it would take place at our “happy place.” Being as though Houston summers are HOT HOT HOT here we were really excited to see all of the indoor and air conditioned options like the pavilions and then even more thrilled to know that as Zoo Members we get a discount! The best part was that we could go pretty over the top with our decorations (as we typically do) and make the whole experience really our own. The kids got a huge kick out of the animal experience and our zoo keeper was great at engaging and directing the kids who were of a wide range of ages.

We are a charitable family and believe in supporting the community that has continued to support us. As such, we have spent a great deal of time teaching Isaac how to give back. It will be a huge pleasure for us to explain to Isaac that on his second birthday, we were able to encourage our friends to donate to the Houston Zoo rather than give us tangible gifts that we are blessed to already have. We look forward to continuing our support of the Houston Zoo, its facilities, its research, and its education services by continuing our Membership and attending fundraising events indefinitely.”

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to The Garcia’s and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our zoo and conservation efforts. THANKS!

Featured Members: The Hoffman Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our August Featured Members: The Hoffman Family.


 

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We reached out to The Hoffman Family (Geoffrey and Paula) to share a few words about being Zoo Members.

Paula says, “When we moved to Houston in October of 2009, we were the proud parents of a single baby boy. We settled in right by the Houston Zoo and bought a Membership the next day. Every morning we’d wave goodbye to daddy and walk over to watch the zookeepers bathe the elephants at 10 and then head over to story time at the Butterfly Stage at 11 am. Bennett was our favorite storyteller. He still is!

As our family grew (Ollie now has a younger brother and a younger sister), we found more and more treasures that appeal to different ages and personalities. Ollie and Louie both love the Swap Shop best. They’ve learned so much from Ms. Suzanne! Whenever they find a natural treasure like a beetle or an acorn or a butterfly egg, they take it to the Swap Shop and earn points. Once Ollie earned enough points to earn a raccoon skull! Louie loves crawling through the aquarium tunnel in Natural Encounters and feeding the giraffes. Violet loves playing in your splash pad and brushing your goats (even though she thinks they are dogs).

I like the elephants best! They are such wonderful, devoted mothers. Once, when Tupelo was a helpless little baby, her brother Baylor kept trying to knock her down. All of the elephants banded together and made a circle around the baby, keeping her mischievous brother away. It was a firm but loving way to discipline Baylor and keep Tupelo safe. They worked so well together to raise the little ones.”

Ollie has even been featured in a few official Houston Zoo videos. Here, you can see him hosting a video that shows how children can help animals!

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to The Hoffmans and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our zoo and conservation efforts. THANKS!

Year of the Goat- Featuring Levi

This post was written by Amber Zelmer


In the Chinese Zodiac calendar, the ‘Year of the Goat’ is also known as the ‘Year of the Ram.’  A male sheep is also called a ram, so July’s “goat” of the month is actually a sheep!  Levi is our only resident sheep here in the Children’s Zoo, so we get a lot of guest questions about him.

Levi is a Jacob sheep, and he has not just two, but FOUR horns.  In fact, this breed of sheep can have up to SIX horns!  Jacob sheep are a piebald breed of sheep.  They are a popular breed in England, although their country of origin is thought to be Syria.  In the Book of Genesis, Jacob took every spotted or speckled sheep from his father-in-law’s flock and bred them.  Thus the Jacob sheep may be the earliest documented case of selective breeding, and their name is in honor of their original shepherd.

Levi

Like all sheep, Levi has wool instead of fur and does not shed his coat in the summer.  The keepers here shear Levi every summer to make him more comfortable in the warm Houston weather.  This year Levi lost nearly 4 lbs. of wool at his shearing!  Though many clothes can be made from wool, the keepers here use the wool as enrichment for the other animals around the zoo.  Our mongoose, kookaburra and skunk all enjoyed tossing the wool around or rolling in it.  Sometimes the Carnivore keepers will come over and get some of the wool to give to their animals to enjoy as well!

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Not only is Levi a provider of entertainment for guests and other animals, he is also a part of our internship program at the Houston Zoo!  Levi knows several different behaviors such as turning in a circle, walking around a trainer, and even walking through weave poles!  Interns have the opportunity to learn his behaviors from the zookeepers so that they can work with Levi in their spare time.  In fact, Levi’s weave pole behavior was taught to him by a former intern!  Come visit Levi in the Children’s Zoo, and you may be able to see him working with one of our interns or part-time staff members to keep his skills sharp.

Featured Members: The Wegman Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to July’s Featured Members: The Wegman Family.


wegman family

We reached out to The Wegman Family (John & Brandyne) to share a few words about being Zoo Members their first year.

Brandyne says, “We are member at the Houston Zoo because my daughter loves to go and look at the animals! She also has to ride the carousel every time we go. She rides it at least three to four times.

This is our first year to have a membership. Each time we go we bring along friends and family to join in on the fun. We recently brought my nephew who is from New York to the zoo and he was amazed when he went into the reptile house!

We enjoy the extra activities there is to do at the Zoo. We can’t wait to go to the Zoo Lights during Christmas time. It is so magical and is something the whole family can do together! We also go to Zoo Boo in October. My daughter likes to get the candy and play the games in the pumpkin patch at the Zoo.

When we go to the Zoo, we pack some snacks for the kids and watch as everyone has a great time. We go to the zoo about once every couple of months during the school year. Since I’m a teacher, I have summers off and we make the Zoo a weekly trip.  There is so much to do and see at the Zoo it is definitely worth going frequently!”

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to John and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our zoo and our conservation efforts. THANKS!

Featured Member: The Lebig Family

We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting a family that deserves recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to June’s Featured Members: The Lebig Family.


IMG_8080Featured Member: The Lebig Family

We reached out to The Lebig Family (Andrew, Sally and Pierre) to share a few words about being Zoo Members for their first year.

Sally Lebig says, “We value time together as a family and there is no better way to spend it than at the Houston Zoo. This is our first year as parents and our first year as Members. The look on our son’s face when we feed the giraffes is absolutely priceless. The staff is always so kind to our son and make sure he is entertained. Our son is learning new words and learned how to say “bubbles” when he saw bubbles being blown from a Zoo Staff Member. We go to the Zoo as a family and live in Katy. When we ‘come to town’ we always try to invite friends and family with our Family Premium Membership as the Houston Zoo is always a great place to catch up – that is a great benefit.”

The Lebig Family has enjoyed their first year of Membership so much that they renewed early for the coming year. As their son grows older, the Zoo will be a great opportunity for them to explore new areas of the Zoo as a family. From feeding the giraffes to seeing the new gorilla exhibit, it has been a great learning experience and they look forward to continuing to support the Zoo efforts.

From all of us here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to The Lebig Family and all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our zoo and our conservation efforts. THANKS!

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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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

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.

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

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!!

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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