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
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

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!

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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!

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

More snow for TJ and Max ❤️ lucky them!

That’s my best friend Sophie for ya! 😂


Omg the Zoo is so awesome 😂😂😂 Alana Berry

Omg be warm sweetoe

Haha!! Good one!

Sweetie 💞

Ashley Jucker 😂

Mike DePope

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We've heard of stalagmites but is stalagmice a thing? ... See MoreSee Less


Weve heard of stalagmites but is stalagmice a thing?


Comment on Facebook

Ok, it took me a minute to get this. I was literally zooming in to try to find the mouse. 🤦🏻‍♀️🙄😂

Cindy Christina Angela Ramirez see I told y’all! Lol

I fell for the mouse thing too..

“Baby it’s cold outside!”

That's nothing! Talk to keepers from the northern states or Canada!

i was honestly looking for a mouse lol

Johnnie R. Summerlin, cool, see the "stalagm ice"?

Wow,that is so neat!

Annecia Wesley but where is the ice bacon? Lol

Two words. Pipe insulation.

That’s awesome!

Ana Rivers Smith cool!


Pauline Ervin

Denise Daigre

Ashley Nguyen

Vicente Gonzalez

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Brrrr. It’s cold out there! We have made the decision to close the Houston Zoo tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 17. Don’t worry, the animals are safe and warm in their night houses!

A limited number of staff from departments like Animal Programs, Safety and Security and Operations/Facilities will be onsite to perform essential services and have the Zoo ready for us to reopen Thursday morning.

A big ol' high-five to our awesome team members who braved this icy cold to come in and care for our animals and zoo facilities.
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Comment on Facebook

Safety and welfare of the animals first! Thanks guys for all you do.

Yes thank you for everything yall do to keep the animals safe .. y'all keep safe and warm

Thank you for taking good care of our animals!

Thank u for keeping those Babies safe and warm!❤️

Thank you for all you do!

Thank you for ZOO LIGHTS. it was amazing this year!

Thank you, zoo team. Stay safe!

Mandy Rinker— really? Too cold? You’re from the Midwest girl


thank you for all you do and keep the furry babies warm


Thank you for taking care of our precious animals that we love to come see!

Thank you for keeping those beautiful animals safe. 💕

Thank you for making sure the animals are safe and warm.

Thank you for all you do for these amazing animals!!

Go, Erika!!!

Thank you 💕


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