Stories in the ‘Natural Encounters’ Category

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 […]

Elderly Animals at the Houston Zoo: of Sloths and Mole-rats

Posted by in Animal Care & Enrichment,Featured Creatures,Natural Encounters

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of news lately about the babies being born at the Zoo – we’re expecting a baby elephant any day now, and we’ve just helped welcome into the world a number of amazing arrivals, including a De Brazza’s guenon, sifaka, and quite the bevy of flamingo chicks. What doesn’t make […]

Big News About a Tiny Baby Monkey – Pygmy Marmoset!

Posted by in Births and Arrivals,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Zoo News

The baby is clinging to the back of one of its big brothers.

We have a new addition to our growing family of pygmy marmosets. A baby was born on July 27 here in the Natural Encounters building at the zoo. Baby was born behind the scenes, but now you can see it in the indoor Rainforest area with its family. We don’t know yet if it’s a boy […]

Baby Saki Monkey – Toumi Has a Little Brother!

Posted by in Births and Arrivals,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Zoo News


The saki monkeys have welcomed a new baby boy into their family! Dalé (pronounced Da-LAY) joins his big brother Toumi, mom Jolene and Dad Harry in the Natural Encounters rainforest. Sakis are tree-dwelling monkeys – in the wild they’re found the rainforest of South America, including parts of Brazil and Venezuela. The males have dark […]

Mole Rats Coming Soon! New Home Under Construction

Posted by in Animal Updates,Behind the Scenes,Natural Encounters

The maze of small tunnels and chambers built into the wall near the rear of the Natural Encounters building has been home to two species, Damara and naked mole-rats. Lately these burrows have been empty, as the mole-rats tunnel behind the scenes while their exhibit is being renovated. If you’ve missed seeing them, you don’t […]

Saki Toumi! Baby saki monkey in Natural Encounters

Posted by in Animal Updates,Births and Arrivals,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Primates

Toumi Saki Monkey with mom Jolene

Post written by Natural Encounters Supervisor PJ Jones. On the morning June 16th the keepers in Natural Encounters discovered a new addition to the Rainforest exhibit. A baby Saki Monkey was born overnight to parents Harry and Jolene. We had suspected that Jolene was pregnant; she had been gaining weight over the past several weeks […]

Double Points in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop

Posted by in Birds,Conservation News,Endangered Species,Just for Kids,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Naturally Wild Swap Shop,Reptiles,Rhinos

 How can you get DOUBLE points in the Swap Shop?  Any time an animal section has a Spotlight on the Species or other program focused on an animal or plant – bring in a Nature Journal on that topic!  Nature Journals can be as simple as information on sheets of notebook paper.  They can be as detailed and […]

Red Panda Ultrasound

Posted by in Animal Updates,Behind the Scenes,Mammals,Natural Encounters

While visiting the Houston Zoo you may have had an opportunity to view the occasional animal training session. Training can be observed daily during our Sea Lion shows and Elephant baths, but did you may also see it happening in any of the animal sections of the zoo? A vast majority of the training takes […]

New at the Zoo: Giant Elephant Shrews

Posted by in Animal Updates,Feeding Our Animals,Mammals,Natural Encounters,Zoo News

The next time you are in the Natural Encounters building, look closely near the ground in the Rainforest exhibit. The two little mammalian vacuum cleaners you’ll see there are recent additions to the Zoo, our Giant Elephant Shrews. “Phoenix” and “Karma” are young brothers, arriving from the Denver Zoo where they were born last year. […]

Monkeys Go Wild (Haired) for Conservation!

Posted by in Animal Updates,Conservation News,Natural Encounters

By Natural Encounters keepers Corri Osborne and Rachel Godambe   For guests visiting the Indoor Rainforest exhibit in the Carruth Natural Encounters building, a little monkey awaits with a big surprise! Normally, visitors are quick to comment on the flashy appearance of the bright orange Golden Lion Tamarins seen in the Indoor and Outdoor Rainforest […]

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