HOUSTON — From a big cat to little lemurs, the Houston Zoo is showing off its newest residents as they get ready to make their public debuts. In the meantime, their animal care teams are playing matchmakers as part of the zoo's breeding program.
An orangutan named Takai arrived in April from a zoo in Omaha. He is a 15-year-old Bornean orangutan and zookeepers say he's playful, curious and friendly. The animal care team is hoping Takai will be a good love match for Aurora, their 11-year-old female. Orangutans are solitary animals so Takai will hang out solo until he establishes relationships with Aurora, Cheyenne or Kelly. Sounds like "The Bachelor: Orangutan style!"
In May, the zoo welcomed Vida, a beautiful 2-year-old jaguar that moved to Houston from Memphis. She will soon meet an 8-year-old male jaguar named Tesoro in hopes that they are compatible. Until then, Vida has been busy getting settled in her new home and will soon be seen in the zoo's South America's Pantanal section.
On May 10, Zawadi, a 5-year-old Masai giraffe, arrived from Cleveland. He's still being quarantined in the giraffe barn for a few more weeks before he joins his new herd.
Two crowned lemurs moved to the Wortham World of Primates lemur island on May 26. Tashi is a 22-year-old female with grey fur and Tsingy is a 5-year-old male with reddish-brown fur. We're told their relationship is strictly platonic. (Otherwise, Tashi would be a real "cougar.") They'll meet the rest of the ring-tailed lemurs soon.
And last but not least, we have Vlad and Seana, a pair of blue duiders. They're small antelope found in central, southern and eastern Africa. The tiny duikers are only about a foot tall and they are sharing space with a pygmy hippo named Silas.
The Houston Zoo supports 33 wildlife conservation projects in 17 countries around the world, including regions where these animals are found in the wild. They provide training, technical, and financial support to their global community-based wildlife conservation partners as they work to reduce threats and save animals from extinction.