Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo, a 55-acre (22.2 ha) park, is located in Hermann Park, Houston, Texas. It houses more than 6,000 animals, including 900 different species. The zoo receives over 2.1 million people each year, making it the 2nd most popular in America. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has accredited it.

Houston Zoo’s mission is to “Connect communities with animals and inspire action to protect wildlife.”

Since 2002, the Houston Zoo Inc. has operated the zoo. It was previously managed by the City of Houston.


African Forest

The African Forest was officially inaugurated on December 10, 2010, and has been called the most ambitious in the Zoo’s 88-year history. It is home to many African species including Grant’s Zebra, White rhinoceros and Red River Hogs. Masai Giraffe, Ostrich, Chimpanzee and Western Lowland Gorilla. The Houston Press awarded the Houston Zoo(r) the Best of Houston Award in 2011 for Best New Ecosystem. Silas, a Pygmy Hippopotamus from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo was brought to Houston Zoo by the Houston Zoo in October 2020.

McNair Asian Elephant Habitat

Houston Zoo’s Asian elephant herd is housed in the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat. The habitat includes a barn measuring 7,000 square feet, which was custom built to accommodate bull elephants. It also features an expanded habitat that has a boardwalk and offers unobstructed views of the animals in the new yard.

Kipp Aquarium

This exhibit includes habitats from coral reefs in the Pacific, the Amazon Basin, and Rift Valley lakes, Africa. It also contains more than 200 species freshwater and saltwater fishes, as well as marine invertebrates. The exhibit also houses a rescue sea turtle, large schools of piranhas and delicate moon jellyfish.


The Houston Zoo has three major exhibits: the Fischer Bird Garden and the Tropical Bird House. It also features Birds of the World. With more than 800 bird species, it is one of the most comprehensive US zoos. There are many species represented in the Houston Zoo, such as the Mariana fruit dove and cassowary.

Ethel G. Carruth Natural Encounters, a building that simulates an expedition through a continent of animals, is located at the zoo. It allows visitors to learn about the rainforest canopy, coral reef, river’s edge and desert. There are many animals that live there, including the Asian small-clawed Otter, Damaraland Mole-rat and golden-headed Lion Tamarin.

Wortham World of Primates

This exhibit features rare and endangered primates in a boardwalk that winds through nature.

Texas Wetlands

This new exhibit was opened in March 2019 and features three indigenous species, American alligators (whooping cranes) and Bald Eagles (bald eagles).

Reptile and Amphibian House

The building houses a variety of venomous snakes as well as exotic amphibians. This includes a blue Iguana monitor and a reticulated Python.

Bug House

This exhibit was opened in 2014. It features a wide range of insects and arachnids that come from different forests, deserts, or jungles.

John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo

The area includes a petting zone and realistic bat cave.

South America’s Pantanal

The exhibit features macaws as well as jaguars, giant rivers otters and tapirs.

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