100 Years

Today’s Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo of today is unrecognizable from its origins in the 1920s.

On a small plot of land in Hermann Park, we began with a single bison named Earl. For 80 years, the Zoo was operated by the City of Houston until 2002, when the Zoo transitioned into a non-profit organization in partnership with the city.

On a small plot of land in Hermann Park, we began with a single bison named Earl. For 80 years, the Zoo was operated by the City of Houston until 2002, when the Zoo transitioned into a non-profit organization in partnership with the city.

This small fence grew, and grew some more, over the nearly 100 years, and is now the 55-acre Houston Zoo we know today.

But we’re not done growing. In order to connect communities with animals to inspire action to save wildlife we’re transforming the very heart of the Zoo and taking our visitors around the world from the far reaches of Central America and the islands of the Galápagos to our very own Texas Wetlands.

More than

2 million

annual guests helping
save wildlife.


In 2019, the Zoo’s education team offered 23 programs to more than

516,691
participants.


We support 33 wildlife conservation projects in

17 countries around the world.

Looking Forward

The Houston Zoo’s story is defined by growth and change.

 

But we are always asking ourselves one question: What’s next? To answer that question, in 2016 we embarked on an ambitious planning process during which we developed a new strategic plan, master plan, and business plan. Underlying these interconnected plans are eight strategic priorities that guide the future of the Houston Zoo.

The Houston Zoo will be a leader in saving wildlife, and our brand will be synonymous with this leadership.

We will be a leader in conservation education by delivering experiential programs at the Zoo and in our communities.

Every animal at the Houston Zoo will experience the highest quality of life, underpinned by mission-driven collection planning and a well-supported animal care, health and welfare program.

We will operate the Zoo sustainably to protect and conserve natural resources.

We will offer amazing experiences on Zoo grounds to inspire our guests to take action to save wildlife.

We will deliver a world-class guest experience and advance our mission and vision through the implementation of a transformational master plan.

We will be a workplace of choice in the Houston region and national zoological community, invest in our people, and have a culture of innovation and organizational excellence.

We will grow the Zoo’s financial strength in parallel with the organization’s programmatic and exhibit strengths.

Participant and Photo Release

Prior to submitting any idea or suggestion to the Houston Zoo, please read this disclaimer carefully. 

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If anyone sends anything to the Houston Zoo or platforms such Communications, you are providing it to the Houston Zoo on a NON-CONFIDENTIAL BASIS, and the Houston Zoo will not have any obligation to keep such information secret, to refrain from using such information, or to compensate you for the receipt or use of such Communications. The Houston Zoo are free to use such Communications for any purpose whatsoever. 

Therefore, you hereby release the Houston Zoo from any liability under any legal theory in connection with the use, modification, sale, or disclosure of any Communications. 

By sending, uploading, or otherwise providing any communications, you are granting to the Houston Zoo to the extent you retain any rights, the unlimited, perpetual right to reuse, redistribute, modify, and create derivative works from such communications for any purpose and in any media without compensation, and you warrant that all rights in such communications have been waived.