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up-close shot of Grant's zebra outside in habitat
Support Your Zoo

Leave a Legacy

The Houston Zoo’s mission is to connect communities with animals, inspiring action to save wildlife. By making a gift in your will, your legacy will provide a place for the next generation to see animals and to save them. If you have made such a gift, we welcome you to join The John and Ingrid Werler Society.

What it Means to be Part of the Werler Society

The John and Ingrid Werler Society is a group of steadfast donors who choose to leave a personal legacy and invest in our future by making a gift to the Zoo in their will. If you have included our organization in your estate plans, please let us know by clicking “Ready to Join?”. We would love to welcome you to The Werler Society and celebrate your commitment to the Houston Zoo. For questions or additional information, please contact our Development Office at 713-533-6819 or

Houston Zoo, Inc. (tax ID 74-1590271) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


By simply informing us that you have included a gift in your estate, you will become a member of The Werler Society. All members receive the following benefits:

  • Invitation to an annual appreciation event for our Werler Society members
  • Tickets to special events
  • Periodic communications about the latest Zoo news
  • Receive and be recognized in our annual report
  • Emails from our senior leaders about the impact of your gift

Your Impact

By leaving a legacy gift to the Houston Zoo, you can help…

  • Provide free field trips to 90,000 students annually
  • Keep our gates open to nearly 2 million annual guests
  • Support nearly 50 wildlife-saving projects
  • Deliver care and feeding to more than 500 animal species

Read Our Donor Impact Stories

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Photos from past Werler Society events

Who were John and Ingrid Werler?

John Werler, Zoo Director from 1963 to 1992, oversaw several key projects, like the opening of the Brown Education Center in 1988. Under his leadership, animal care and habitat standards improved dramatically, and his wife, Ingrid Werler, played an active role in caring for all variety of animals. She and John were beloved throughout our Zoo. The close-knit family they developed now extends to our staff and the nearly two million guests who visit our Zoo each year!

For questions, please contact the Houston Zoo’s Development Office at 713-533-6819 or

All inquiries are treated with complete confidentiality. Please consult your personal financial advisor for information specific to your needs.