Stories in the ‘Featured Creatures’ Category

Dragon Coming to the Zoo in 2016

Posted by in April Fools,Featured Creatures,Zoo News

Smaug, one of the Houston Zoo

You thought they were a figment of your imagination, but they are for real! An exclusive partnership between Houston Zoo and Lockington Medical Institute (LMI) in Wimbledon, United Kingdom has produced the first known dragon offspring in at least 750 years. Fossilized dragon eggs were found in 1996 by Rodney Tarrington in a small hamlet […]

Snakes and Reptiles – An Unfortunate Misunderstanding

Posted by in Featured Creatures,Reptiles,Texas Conservation,Zoo News

Snakes and Reptiles – An Unfortunate Misunderstanding

In general, reptiles are a misunderstood and much-maligned group of animals. Literature published as far back as 1735 describes reptiles as “foul and loathsome animals.” Unfortunately, this viewpoint is still held by many people today, especially when snakes are the reptiles being discussed. The unreasonable fear of snakes is quite prevalent in our society and […]

Year of the Goat – Featuring Bono

Posted by in Children's Zoo,Featured Creatures,Zoo News


March’s Goat of the Month is…(drumroll please)… Bono! (Musical pun intended). Unlike his famous namesake, Bono the goat is not much of a singer, though he can get pretty vocal around feeding time! Like the majority of our goat herd here in the Children’s Zoo Bono is a Nigerian dwarf goat. This breed originated in […]

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 […]

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