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!