Giraffes in trucks, Disney rock artists & chimp challenges: Secrets of theHouston Zoo's African Forest
The animal additions to the Houston Zoo's new African Forest could not have come from more divergent backgrounds. The rhinos, which the Zoo has been without for a few years, came from a reserve in South Africa — and just five months ago were running wild.
The family of 10 chimpanzees, on the other hand, came from private owners in California. Having been in the entertainment business his entire life, the youngest chimp, 6-year-old Willie, had never touched grass until he touched down at this new habitat here in Houston.
Construction began in August 2009 for the $40 million, 6.5-acre African Forest, which had been in the works for years. The massive new exhibit opens to the public on Friday. (Check out CultureMap's exclusive photo gallery of the African Forest).
Watch Houston Zoo CEO Deborah Cannon and Zoo director Rick Barongi give us a preview of the African Forest: