Houston, Texas
Street Address
1513 North MacGregor
Houston, TX 77030
Mailing Address
1513 North MacGregor
Houston, TX 77030
phone: 713-533-6500
fax: 713-533-6755
e-mail: info@houstonzoo.org
web: www.houstonzoo.org
Hours
November - February
Daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
March - October
Daily 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
November - January
West Entry Gate - only on weekends

Admissions
Adult 12 - 64 years $8.50
Child 2 - 11 years $4.00
Children under 2 years FREE
Senior 65+ years $5.00
Members FREE

*Wildlife Carousel $2.00
*Wildlife Carousel for Members $1.00
Museum Type(s)
Zoo
Staff
Kathy Gaughan, Curator of Education
Rick Barongi, Zoo Director
Hannah Bailey, Curator of Birds
Tinker Boyd, Curator of Children's Zoo
George Brandy, Curator of Aquarium
Daryl Hoffman, Curator of Large Mammals
Hollie Colahan, Curator of Primates and Carnivores
Elizabeth Neipert, Registrar
Sharon Joseph, VP Animal Programs
Description

Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving 1.5 million guests annually.  Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 4.500 exotic animals representing more than 800 species.  Operated by the not-for-profit Houston Zoo, Inc., the Houston Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, providing engaging educational experiences for our guests and creating naturalistic animal habitats.

History

In 1920, the U. S. government thinned the bison herds in the national parks and bestowed one of the excess animals on the City of Houston. The lone bison, who came to be known as Earl, was housed in Sam Houston Park. The fenced home was referred to as the zoo, and a deer was donated to keep Earl company, thus instantly doubling the size of the zoo's population.

In 1922, the zoo was moved to Hermann Park. To this suburban wilderness came the Houston Zoo - a fence enclosing a small tract of land with wooden cages for birds, monkeys, and small animals. Most of the inhabitants were acquired from local folks who had tired of their exotic pets. A few were secondhand circus animals.

By 1923, it had become obvious that the zoo needed a keeper. Hans Nagle was chosen and proved equal to the task. By 1924, citizens and institutions had begun to join the city in buying animals for the zoo.

The zoo encompassed 30 acres by 1925, and the city had spent $10,000 acquiring animals. In 1926, an aviary and monkey facility were built. Today, the Houston Zoological Gardens covers 55 magnificently landscaped acres and is home to over 5,800 animals. Through an admission fee instituted in January 1989 and property taxes, the city pays zoo personnel salaries and animal feed bills and maintains the grounds and buildings. Support for the zoo also comes from other organizations. The Zoological Society raises funds by operating the zoo's food and gift concessions, and by soliciting monies for special projects. Zoo Friends sponsors the biannual Zoo Ball and off-year special events to purchase new animals and build new displays. The Docent Organization provides support through the purchase of supplies, biofacts and providing invalualble volunteer support for zoo interpretation and special events.

Artifact Collections

Inventory of living and non-living animal specimens.

Educational Programs

Teacher workshops, pre-school and school age programs for primary and secondary levels, summer camps, family programs, overnights, twilight tours, lectures Zoomobile and outreach programs, volunteer and intern opportunities available throughout the year.

Classes are available for all ages from 2 1/2 through senior adults. The zoo offers volunteer programs and evening and overnight programs for members, public and scouts.

Publications

  • Wildlife, a quarterly publication for Zoo members.
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    MUSEUM CONFERENCES
    Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
    2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Saturday, March 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 — Richmond, Virginia
    Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference 2022
    Richmond, Virginia
    Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18, 2022 — Kingsport, Tennessee
    Tennessee Association of Museums 2022 Annual Conference
    Kingsport, Tennessee
    Tuesday, March 22 - Friday, March 25, 2022 — Waco, Texas
    Texas Association of Museums 2022 - Growing Together: Tackling The Challenges Of Today & Tomorrow
    Waco, Texas
    Thursday, April 7 - Saturday, April 9, 2022 — Point Pleasant, West Virginia
    West Virginia Association of Museums 2022 Conference
    Point Pleasant, West Virginia
    Sunday, May 15 - Saturday, May 28, 2022 — Statesboro, Georgia
    Center of Excellence Tick Workshop 2022
    Statesboro, Georgia
    Monday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    InterActivity 2022: Play The Long Game -Association of Children's Museums
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22, 2022 — Slinger, Wisconsin
    2022 Fire Museum Seminar
    Slinger, Wisconsin
    Sunday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 — Golden, Colorado
    2022 Country School Association of America Conference
    Golden, Colorado
    Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2022 — Owings Mills, Maryland
    ASSOCIATION OF NATURE CENTER ADMINISTRATORS 2022 ANNUAL SUMMIT
    Owings Mills, Maryland
    Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
    American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
    Buffalo, New York