The Houston Zoo in Texas is more than just your regular zoological park. It is a sanctuary for more than 6,000 animals from 900 species from across the world. It is a place where people can come to see members of the wildlife live a peaceful existence in happy communities away from the dangers of human expansion.
The Houston Zoo was established in 1922 as part of a conservation program of Texas wildlife. In time, it expanded both its premises and mission becoming a city-operated zoological park that covers over 55 acres (22 ha) and welcomes more than 2 million visitors every year.
One of Houston’s most popular attractions, the zoo is the ideal place to take your kids to for a fun and educational family outing. Here are some of the best things to do and see at the Houston Zoo in Texas:
The African Forest
When it first opened in 2010, the administrators referred to the African Forest as the “zoo’s most ambitious project in its history.” The large exhibit houses several animal species that are native to the African wildlife including zebras, gazelles, rhinoceros, and gorillas. This display is a public favorite and a must-see for safari enthusiasts.
The Kipp Aquarium
If you are more into marine life than terrestrial animals, you should stop by at the Kipp Aquarium inside the Houston Zoo. This facility is home to more than 2,000 exotic fish and mollusks from 200 species around the world. Besides wild piranhas and electric eels, here you can also see octopuses and stingrays up and close in a family-friendly setting.
The Aviary Exhibits
The Houston Zoo features various bird exhibits on its premises. There are over 800 birds from over 200 species that live in separate expositions. Put together, the Fischer Bird Garden, the Tropical Bird House, and Birds of the World amass to one of the largest collection of live birds in the world.
The Carnivores Exhibit
Visitors that like the wildest and cruelest side of nature can visit the Carnivores exhibit at the Houston Zoo. Here, you can get up close and personal with magnificent wild beasts like the African lion, the maned wolf, the Black Bear, and the Malayan tiger. In a single visit, you can see some of Earth’s biggest predators from five different continents.
The John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo
If you are visiting the Houston Zoo with your kids, then the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo is one of the best exhibits to see while you are there. This venue houses several species that are safe for children to pet and interact with such as goats, river otters, and toads. Other animals and birds that live here include the bald eagle, the North American porcupine, and the Swift Fox.
Allen H. and Ethel G. Carruth Natural Encounters
This special exhibit at the Houston Zoo simulates the experience of traveling across an entire continent. The entire display has an educational role and it aims to raise awareness over the importance of keeping rainforests, coral reefs and other environments safe to protect the millions of species of animals, birds and insects that live on the planet.