Stories in the ‘Featured Creatures’ Category

Year of the Goat – Featuring Elsa

Posted by in Featured Creatures,Mammals,Naturally Wild Swap Shop,Zoo News


In honor of the Chinese animal zodiac, we’re celebrating the Year of the Goat! We have over 20 different goats representing 5 different breeds. In addition to their different colors, shapes, and sizes, all of our goats also express individual preferences and personalities! To highlight our goats individual ‘flair’, we’ve decided to feature a different goat each month and share what […]

Species Spotlight: Black Bear Cubs Willow and Belle

Posted by in Carnivores,Conservation News,Featured Creatures,Mammals,Zoo News


Our American black bear cubs, Willow and Belle, are anything but ordinary. In fact, they are not black at all! The Zoo received these orphaned cubs in December 2013 and initially weighed 40 pounds. However, carnivore keeper Stephanie Mantilla reported that Willow is 139 pounds, and Belle is 148 pounds. Some of their favorite foraging […]

Okapi – From the Heart of Africa to the Houston Zoo

Posted by in Conservation News,Featured Creatures,Mammals,Zoo News


Written by Rick Barongi One of the rarest and most beautiful animals at the Houston Zoo is the okapi (“oh-cop-ee”) or forest giraffe.  Since it was first discovered by the western world in 1901 it has captivated the imagination like few other species.  This fascination has led to a colorful and tumultuous history.  Every species […]

Sam, the “People” Steer

Posted by in Featured Creatures,Mammals

Sam, the “People” Steer

Just four years ago this month, a small baby steer arrived at the Houston Zoo. His name was Sam – Sam Houston to be exact. At about the same time, a wide-eyed new zookeeper named Emma started in the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo. Emma was sitting in a meeting one day when one of […]

The Cameroon Stumptail Chameleon

Posted by in Featured Creatures,Global Conservation,Reptiles


Did you know that dwarf chameleons have a very unique way to deter predators and rival chameleons? They vibrate like a cell phone! At the Houston Zoo, guests can see a pair of male and female Cameroon stumptail chameleons inside the Reptile and Amphibian House. The pair came to the Zoo under tragic circumstances just […]

Penny has been working hard in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop

Posted by in Featured Creatures,Just for Kids,Naturally Wild Swap Shop,Zoo News

My goodness, but this summer was busy.  The zoo had great attendance and, here in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop, we had record numbers of trades in June, July and August! My name is Penny, and it is my job to greet guests and be an ambassador for the zoo. I have been quite busy.  With so […]

Clouded Leopard Cubs Play Outside!

Posted by in Carnivores,Featured Creatures,Mammals,Zoo News

Clouded Leopard Cubs Play Outside!

Our twelve-week-old clouded leopard cubs Koshi and Senja took their first romp in the grass today during one of their final days behind-the-scenes. As they grow, their mischievous personalities are becoming more and more apparent. Koshi thinks it’s fun to practice his aerial skills by leaping onto the caregivers while Senja prefers climbing and has […]

Cheyenne’s Story: What Happens When a Zoo Animal Gets Sick?

Posted by in Behind the Scenes,Featured Creatures,Mammals,Orangutans,Veterinary Care,Zoo News

Cheyenne & Vascular Team 6.14

The Houston Zoo is very lucky to have a great veterinary team: a Director, a Manager, 4 Veterinarians, 3 Veterinary Technicians, and a myriad of other important players like zookeepers, purchasing and record-keeping staff. It takes a village to keep our animals healthy! Because of our continued, professional veterinary care at the zoo, the clinic staff’s […]

Naked Mole-rats: The Super Heroes of the Animal World

Posted by in Adaptations,Featured Creatures,Mammals,Natural Encounters

Meet the naked mole-rat!

What can feel no pain, is impervious to cancer or Alzheimer’s, and can chew through pretty much anything in a single bound? The naked mole-rat! These little creatures aren’t the prettiest to look at, but they are possibly some of the most fascinating—and superhero like—animals around. When a naked mole-rat begins life, he pretty much looks […]

The World Cup Mascot is a Three-Banded Armadillo – Meet Ours Named Tuck

Posted by in Featured Creatures,Mammals,Zoo News

Tuck & Soccer Ball

Written by Casey Norra  This is Tuck He is our Three-banded armadillo living in the Drylands “Desert” exhibit over at natural encounters. You might not always see him on exhibit, due to him being nocturnal, but every once in a while you can catch this guy running around causing trouble. Whether he is harassing the […]

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