The Houston Zoo is not only one of the most popular attractions in Houston, but it’s also the second most visited zoo in the US after the San Diego Zoo. It’s home to over 6,000 animals, including elephants, big predators, big primates, and one of the largest collections of birds in the US.
If your image of an urban zoo includes animals in small, old-looking enclosures, you’ll be struck by the spacious and natural-looking habitats here, and you may notice that many look new. The Zoo has been here since the 1920s (its first resident was a bison sent from Yellowstone Park as part of a successful effort to prevent their extinction) and was owned by the city for most of that time. In 2002, it became its own non-profit organization. Since then, with the help of private donors, the Zoo has been adding animals, redesigning habitats, and continuing to participate in conservation programs. That means there’s always something new to see here.
The Texas Wetlands, an exhibit scheduled to open in May of 2019, is a natural-looking multi-animal environment that includes alligators and bald eagles. Belle and Willow, the Zoo’s two North American black bears, had their habitat redesigned in August of 2018. Recent animal additions have included one baby tapir, two baby lemurs, and one baby elephant, all born here.
Cover image: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay license via Pixabay.