How the Houston Zoo is taking action to save animals and how you can too

KPRC 2 meteorologist Anthony Yanez takes a picture with a woman involved in a project to regrow forests in Borneo (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – The Houston Zoo dedicates time to help protect animals. Whenever people visit the zoo, some of the funds from the tickets benefit wildlife.

See a list of tinitiatives the zoo is working on to help protect important and vulnerable animals around the world. c

Reduction and Recycling (Plastics)

The Houston Zoo does not use single-use plastic bags, bottles and straws. Crews also pickup discarded fishing lines at Galveston to save animals like sea turtles.

Actions you can take:

Use reusable bags when you go shopping instead of plastic bags.

🐟 Buy Local (Ocean-Friendly Seafood)

Ocean-friendly seafood means that the seafood was caught safely, so it does not affect sharks and other fish populations can still flourish.

Animals that live at the Houston Zoo only eat ocean-friendly seafood.

Actions you can take:

Only purchase U.S. sourced/fished seafood.

🧻 Reducing, Recycling, and Responsibly Sourcing (Paper and Wood)

Average families use 120 rolls of toilet paper per year, which is one roll every three days, according to the Houston Zoo. Experts said 27,000 trees need to be cut every day to provide toilet paper.

For this reason, the zoo only purchases toilet paper from recycled products for their restrooms.

Actions you can take:

Receive mobile tickets to events instead of printing them on paper.

Purchase 100% recycled paper instead of other options.

Make sure you’re not signed up for junk mail.

📱 Reduction and Recycling (Electronic Devices)

Cell phones and other electronic products have a material known as tantalum, which comes from the mineral Col-Tan (columbite-tantalite). People mine for the mineral in central Africa and this can affect the habitats of chimpanzees, gorillas and other animals. This can also decline animal and plant populations in the area.

Actions you can take:

Houstonians can drop off their older electronic devices at the zoo’s collection box.

🦋 Creating Wildlife Friendly Spaces (Pollinator, Bat and Bird Awareness)

There are more than a dozen native plant areas at the zoo for pollinators such as butterflies to gather food. Zoo crews also found that wild bat species are living and growing at the zoo.

Actions you can take:

Plant pollinator friendly plants in your garden.

Create bat houses in your yard for these animals. The bats can help with those pesky insects.

🌳 Replanting Wildlife Habitat

The Houston Zoo is committed to replanting 150,000 trees in Malaysia to protect elephants and clouded leopards, and they are also helping organizations in Madagascar to bring back habitats that help lemurs.

Actions you can take:

Purchase tickets and memberships to the zoo. These help the organization plant trees and ensure we keep vulnerable animals around for many years.

About the Author:

Cynthia Miranda graduated from UT Austin and is a proud Houstonian. She is passionate about covering breaking news and community stories. Cynthia previously covered elections, the historic 2021 Texas winter storm, and other news in East Texas. In addition to writing, she also loves going to concerts, watching movies, and cooking with her family.