Partying With the Animals

Young professionals go ape over new gorilla habitat at Houston Zoo preview party

Young professionals go ape over new gorilla habitat at preview party

Houston Zoo gorillas YP Overview of Arrival Building
Houston Zoo's new gorilla habitat a fascinating addition enjoyed by Flock members. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Ami Bensman, Tim Bensman, Luis Salazar, Gonzo247
Ami Bensman, from left, Tim Bensman, Luis Salazar and Gonzo247. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Alicia Zaccagni, Brooke Story, Drew Sabetti, Elizabeth Weiss, Sarah Pepper, Lelia Vacek, with YELP gorillas
Alicia Zaccagni, from left, Brooke Story, Drew Sabetti, Elizabeth Weiss, Sarah Pepper and Lelia Vacek with YELP gorillas. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Zuri the gorilla
Zuri the gorilla takes a perch in the new gorilla habitat. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Allison Jones, Kendall Hanno, Chris Hanno, Brad Jones, Colin Rust
Allison Jones, from left, Kendall Hanno, Chris Hanno, Brad Jones and Colin Rust. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Gorillas Binti and Zuri
Gorillas Binti and Zuri at play in their new home at Houston Zoo. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Jordan Gray with Tamandua
Jordan Gray with the tamandua. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Gorilla over shoulder
The gorilla gets close-up look at spectators. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Jason Myatt, Amanda Myatt, Rebecca Salinas
Jason Myatt, from left, Amanda Myatt and Rebecca Salinas. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Gorilla close up
A face only a  mother could love. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Gorn the Argentine Tegu
A special visitor to the gorilla habitat was Gorn, the Argentine tegu. Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Overview of outdoor space
The gorillas are separated from the public by a deep and difficult-to-climb "creek." Photo by Tina Carpenter
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Overview of Arrival Building
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Ami Bensman, Tim Bensman, Luis Salazar, Gonzo247
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Alicia Zaccagni, Brooke Story, Drew Sabetti, Elizabeth Weiss, Sarah Pepper, Lelia Vacek, with YELP gorillas
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Zuri the gorilla
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Allison Jones, Kendall Hanno, Chris Hanno, Brad Jones, Colin Rust
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Gorillas Binti and Zuri
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Jordan Gray with Tamandua
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Gorilla over shoulder
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Jason Myatt, Amanda Myatt, Rebecca Salinas
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Gorilla close up
Gorn the Argentine Tegu
Houston Zoo gorillas YP Overview of outdoor space

Bachelors were on the prowl when Houston Zoo's young professional group, Flock, took over a corner of the zoo recently for a party night. And we're not talking buttoned-down bachelors, rather Ajar, Chaka and Mike, the trio of solo gorillas who call the zoo's newest exhibition home.

Those fellows and the family of four western lowland gorillas that will be seen by the public starting Friday were focal point of the after-work gorilla preview party. So popular is this exhibit, even before official opening, that the event attracted more than 375 YPs. 

The gorillas weren't the only zoo residents to meet and greet Flock members. Zoo ambassadors welcoming guests included a tamandua (a type of ant eater), an Argentinian tegu lizard, a screech owl and a Flemish giant rabbit.

DJ Wu Chang kept the disks spinning while guests sipped Saint Arnold Beer and noshed on light bites from Benjy's, Oh My Gogi, Pocket to Me and Good Dog and sweet treats from Zeapod Cakery.

Among those getting a preview of zoo's exciting new habitat were Allison and Brad Jones, Kendall and Chris Hanno, Colin Rust, Meredith Creger, Amanda and Jason Myatt, Brooke Story, Drew Sabetti, Elizabeth Weiss, Sarah Pepper and Lelia Vacek.