Situated on over 22ha of Hermann Park in Houston, Texas, the Houston Zoological Park operated by the non-profit corporation Houston Zoo Inc. houses over 6000 animals and more than 900 species.
Visited annually by a total of more than 1.8 million locals and tourists, the Houston Zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is recognized as the tenth most visited zoo in the United States offering more attractions than any other zoological park and providing a uniquely entertaining, and educational experience encouraging persons to develop the appreciation, knowledge and concern for the preservation of the natural environment.
Interesting Facts about the Houston Zoo
- Before 2002 the Houston Zoo was operated by the City of Houston.
- The Houston Zoo began in 1922 with the donation of a bison named Earl from a traveling circus. A fenced area was later erected in Herman Park, Houston, Texas to house a variety of animals purchased by the City of Houston would later become the cornerstone of the Houston Zoo. During this period the zoo which was named the Hermann Park Zoo was operated by the City of Houston until 1989 and offered free admission to all its visitors.
- In january 1989 the Houston Zoo began a public admission fee of $2.50 for adults and 50 cents for children after being being accredited by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums today recognized as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
- The first employee of the Hermann Park Zoo was a talented German animal trainer known as Hans Nagel. Nagel who later became the zoos manager/director purchased the Zoo’s first Asian elephant which he named Hans who died at the age of 65 in 1979. In the 1930s the Hermann Zoo expanded its grounds to over 12ha and featured a large aviary consisting of uniquely sculpted concrete trees as its primary attraction. Notably it was during this period that the first National History Museum was built along with an elephant and lion house.
- In 1942 Nagel’s assistant Tom Baylor became the Zoo’s manager/director following the death of Nagel who was shot and killed by a police officer in 1941 on the zoo grounds after resisting arrest. In the 1950s Baylor began renovations of the zoo which included the construction of a concession area, bear moats, a giraffe house, feline house, hippo pool, sea lion pool and a waterfowl pond and in 1960 opened the Zoo’s first major indoor exhibit known as the reptile house.
- In 1993 the Houston Zoo after receiving approval for a further expansion to its current 22ha opened its first modern day zoo exhibit known as Wortham World of Primates. The exhibit which was designed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums commercial member Jones and Jones and added at a cost of $7.5 million is recognized to date as the zoos most expensive project. Other projects included the restoration of the Janice Seuber McNair Asian Elephant facility, extensive restoration of the Zoo’s Aquarium and Tropical Aviary, the construction of a koala and an office administration building as well as new gift shop at the front entrance.
- In 2000 the Houston Zoo opened the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo and after becoming a private non-profit organization after signing a 50 year lease with the City of Houston in 2002, later opened up a series of animal exhibits which included Komodo Dragons, okapi, giant eland, seal lion renovation, large cat exhibits, Wildlife Carousel, as well as the 2005 American Zoos and Aquariums Exhibit award Natural Encounters.
- In 2010 the Zoo opened the first stage of its African Forest Exhibit. The six-acre habitat which cost an estimated $40 million houses a variety of African wildlife animals such as white rhinos, chimpanzees, kudu antelope and even has an African-themed restaurant, a gift shop as well as a trading post.
- Today the almost 100-year old establishment is recognized as one of the most successful non-profit organizations employing more than 300 full-time employees and supporting more than a dozen conservation projects in the state of Texas and worldwide focussed on solving global issues pertaining to the survival of endangered species and wildlife.
The Houston Zoo Webcam Exhibits
The Gorilla Habit Cam
The Houston Zoos Gorilla Habit Cam features a webcam located outside the new Arrival Building offering online viewers a first hand look at their resident western lowland gorillas and red river hogs in their vast habitat.
View the Gorilla Habit Cam.
The Giraffe Platform Cam
The Houston Zoo Giraffe Feeding Platform features a live webcam allowing viewers to observe these elegant giraffes housed in their African Forest exhibit.
View Giraffe Platform Cam.
The Houston Zoo Flamingo Cam
The Houston Zoo Flamingo Cam allows online viewers to enjoy a live streaming video featuring colorful flamingos by clicking on the link provided below.
View Houston Zoo Flamingo Cam.
The Houston Zoo Chimpanzee Window Cam
The Houston Zoo Chimpanzee exhibit features a live webcam of showing its resident chimpanzees in a naturally designed habitat consisting of a waterfall, a flowing stream, and artificial logs.
View the Houston Zoo Chimpanzee Window Cam.
The Houston Zoo Elephant Pool Cam
The Houston Zoo Elephant Pool Cam shows a live streaming video of the Zoo’s elephant habitat by way of a controllable camera featuring a list of options viewers can choose from. By clicking on the link below you can watch the Zoo’s eight elephants splash around in their 80,000 gallon pool or inside their 7,000 square foot elephant barn as they are given their daily bath.
The Houston Zoo Rhino Yard Webcam
The Houston Zoo Rhino Yard Cam allows online viewers an up close view of the Zoo’s resident rhinos housed in the African Forest exhibit.
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