|Date opened||September 1922|
|Location||Houston, Texas, USA|
|Land area||55 acres (22 ha)|
|Number of animals||6,000+|
|Number of species||900|
|Annual visitors||2.46 million|
The Houston Zoo is a 55-acre (22 ha) zoological park located within Hermann Park in Houston, Texas, United States. The Zoo houses over 6,000 animals as a part of over 900 species that the zoo has to offer, and receives 1.8 million visitors each year and is the tenth most visited zoo in the United States. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The Houston Zoo's mission statement is "The Houston Zoo provides a fun, unique, and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world."
Since 2002, the non-profit corporation Houston Zoo Inc. has operated the zoo. Prior to 2002, the Houston Zoo was operated by the City of Houston.
The Houston Zoo is an active partner in the AZA's Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program, a population management and conservation program for selected species housed in North American zoos.
The Zoo supports more than a dozen conservation projects in Texas and across the globe that assist in the survival of endangered wildlife and habitats. Wildlife conservation projects include the Houston toad, Texas sea turtle, Attwater's prairie chicken, gorilla, Galapagos tortoise, Bornean orangutan, elephant, Clouded leopard, African lion, frogs, Brazilian tapir, rhinoceros, African wild dog, chimpanzee, okapi, cheetah, and other animals.
Information on these conservation programs can be found at http://www.houstonzoo.org/protect-animals/
Shasta VI, the mascot of the University of Houston with a Houston Zoo trainer