The animal that was the beginning of the Houston Zoo, as we know it today, was a single Bison named Earl, donated to the city by the Federal Government in 1920. Earl sparked a public debate on why a city that had created an engineering marvel such as the Houston Ship Channel should not have a world-class zoo. Today, this beautifully appointed zoo with flower gardens, reflecting ponds, a café and lots of shady spots to relax welcomes over 1.5 million guests a year who visit the 4,500 residents and learn about the various global ecosystems represented by the different habitats. Here animals are cared for in environments that closely resemble their homes in the wild—one of our favorite habitats is for African lions and rare Malayan tigers, seen from an elevated observation area as well as up-close at the reinforced plexiglass wall that wraps around their jungle-like domain.
Check out the regular seal and sea lion performances – more than worth the price of admission alone.