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Houston Zoo Developments


Parrothead

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seriously though, where are the chipmunks are they coming back?

chipmunk.gif

Maybe they found their back back to Alvin. :rolleyes:

(Note to non-Houstonians, and those under 40: (1) Alvin is a small community several miles outside of Houston. (2) "Alvin and the Chipmunks" was a popular animated cartoon series in the 1960s. And explaining that still didn't make it funny, did it? Ah, well.)

Edited by dbigtex56
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  • 3 weeks later...
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  • 7 months later...
Where did the big locomotive go that used to sit in front of the lake by the zoo?

Not sure if anyone ever answered your question about the cool old locomotive at Hermann Park. So here goes, about 2 years ago it was relocated to Minute Maide Park. As far as I know it is outside somewhere. I guess in front. It was at Hermann for a long time. I recall seeing it there even in the mid-60's.

The only rail line that should be expanded is that tiny little train everyone rides in Hermann Park. Someone would gripe about that too I guess. Hey they could raise it up like a miniature monorail wouldn't stall in a flood like the Metro Rail. They could run the miniature train down Richmond. Would take too long to get to work and people would probably crash into it too.

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i had some good times climbing that big train in hermann park when i was little

Hey Moose, you remember how HOT that friggin' metal got ? It was like playing on the sun.

I don't think i actually ever climbed on it, I just remmeber touching it and nearly searing my hand.

Edited by TJones
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:rolleyes: No Puma, not the one the rabbit rides back and forth.

Actually, now that the train is over at Minute Maid Park area, it probably has homeless fans living inside of it. Instead of oranges it's Strawberry Hill wine bottles. Rabbit probably got clunked on the head for his spare change.

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  • 4 months later...

Hermann Park mini-train to be replaced

From 11 News staff reports

Hermann Park's mini-train is going away, but it will be replaced by a new one.

The Parks Department said the new train will go a long way to alleviate traffic problems around the park.

The train will have a new route and three new stops, including the Museum of Natural Science and Miller Outdoor Theater.

The existing train contract expires in September, and then construction will begin.

For a minute there I thought they were going to close down. Wheoo..close call. :rolleyes:

Edited by Vertigo58
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How long has the current train been there?

I am almost certain since mid 1940's is what mom said. You can tell by the style of the existing train (which is one of the reasons I love it) Looks like a Lionel Toy Train set like the ones we played with as kiddies. Except I crushed mine with rocks (thought I was Godzilla) :wacko:

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Wow, that long? I wonder what they'll do with it. Hopefully put it on display somewhere.

22566358.jpg

Kind of looks like this. and your right they better not melt it down or something stupid like that which Houston is historically known for. Maybe it will go on auction or something insane. We could get all of Haifmeisters to jump on one day we would probably end up derailing it or something. All aboard! :P

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Here's a link (there are others too):

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/kho...n.2ab7aed5.html

Based on various news stories from Ch. 11 and 13, it sounds like there will be stations near the Museum of Natural Science, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and at least one of the METRORail stations.

Actually, with the connections to METRORail, this may end up like something Mr. Spieler joked about last April 1 (scroll to the bottom):

http://www.ctchouston.org/blogs/christof/2006/04/01/35/

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Here's a link (there are others too):

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/kho...n.2ab7aed5.html

Based on various news stories from Ch. 11 and 13, it sounds like there will be stations near the Museum of Natural Science, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and at least one of the METRORail stations.

Actually, with the connections to METRORail, this may end up like something Mr. Spieler joked about last April 1 (scroll to the bottom):

http://www.ctchouston.org/blogs/christof/2006/04/01/35/

this has been in the planning stages for quite a while...the red line didn't quite meet expectations for access to the park. mayor's office had complaints.

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How long has the current train been there?
Not sure where I heard this. I have posted this before, but got no confirmation.

My understanding is that at least one of the trains running at Hermann came from Playland Park when it closed down.

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  • 9 months later...

Has anyone else ever wondered why Houston has a very sub-par zoo despite being in the 4th largest city and admission fees that have climbed steeply in the past decade? I didn't realize how crappy our zoo is until I visited the Brownsville zoo a year ago... smaller city, smaller budget, lower admission fees with beautiful wide-open animal exhibits that mimic natural environments. They also had a much more interesting selection of animals, I especially liked their troop of gorillas (we haven't had a gorilla in 10 years or something).

Nice pictures though westguy.

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Has anyone else ever wondered why Houston has a very sub-par zoo despite being in the 4th largest city and admission fees that have climbed steeply in the past decade? I didn't realize how crappy our zoo is until I visited the Brownsville zoo a year ago... smaller city, smaller budget, lower admission fees with beautiful wide-open animal exhibits that mimic natural environments. They also had a much more interesting selection of animals, I especially liked their troop of gorillas (we haven't had a gorilla in 10 years or something).

It's kind of hard to recreate what Brownsville has when you're landlocked.

I have no clue why we have no Gorillas.

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Houston's zoo has actually improved a lot since they started charging admission. I'll agree with you that it's not as nice as Brownsville's, or some of the other zoos in major cities, but it has improved greatly from what it was and continues to get better. Part of the problem was that for many years the zoo was not only free, but it was also not receiving adequate financial support from the city. The relatively small amount of land the zoo has to work with also hasn't helped.

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Houston's zoo has actually improved a lot since they started charging admission. I'll agree with you that it's not as nice as Brownsville's, or some of the other zoos in major cities, but it has improved greatly from what it was and continues to get better. Part of the problem was that for many years the zoo was not only free, but it was also not receiving adequate financial support from the city. The relatively small amount of land the zoo has to work with also hasn't helped.

The zoo in Omaha Nebraska is far better than the Houston zoo, in a much smaller market. Almost all of the funding for major updates/rennovations was from private sources. The city shouldn't be to blame, the zoo should be able to raise its own funding.

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I think our gorilla died a few years ago. I remember watching that dude puke up his food, eat it, repeat. :wacko:

Our gorilla enclosure was an acoustic nightmare. They had to find a deaf gorilla to live in it.

If you think our zoo sucks, you should have seen it 30 years ago. There used to be a filthy, depressing block of monkey jail cells in the center of it.

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Our gorilla enclosure was an acoustic nightmare. They had to find a deaf gorilla to live in it.

If you think our zoo sucks, you should have seen it 30 years ago. There used to be a filthy, depressing block of monkey jail cells in the center of it.

I remember the dark gorilla house, kind of scared me as a wee little one, and the monkey/ape cages in the middle, seems we had more chimps and baboons then.

I do appreciate our Zoo though, probably should have not been free for so long, I love the park setting and the ponds, plants ,trees, and great volunteers. While my son is not old enough to appreciate it, We strolled through the expansive new (since I have been there last) children's area and petting zoo and that looks great.

Ssullivan has a good point too about the size the zoo is allotted, there is only so much they could do with the area, and since they have started charging they have been doing more improvements in recent years.

Lastly, for the money, in my opinion, it is a great inexpensive way to spend a day outdoors with the family.

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a friend of mine is a mgr there. she sent me this.

When M'kubwa (Mak) our old gorilla died, it was decided that we would not get more until we had the best facility possible. When our new African exhibit is complete (year 200?) we will get troops of both gorillas and chimpanzees. We will then have 3 of the great apes at the Houston Zoo

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I got a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo once. It's really an impressive operation. The animals were less impressed with me, though. An orangutang peed in his plastic cup, slurped it into his mouth and tried to spit it on me (he missed!)

Later one of the keepers suggested I try feeding pieces of yam to the giraffe by putting them in my mouth. The giraffe's two-foot-long blue tongue snaked down my throat. Ick! I think we're married now.

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The giraffe's two-foot-long blue tongue snaked down my throat. Ick! I think we're married now.

"Ick" is not exactly the word I'd choose. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I'm going to have permanent, lifelong issues now whenever a tongue gets near me.

Thanks, though, for waking me up. I was nodding off in a conference call before that post.

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I got a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo once. It's really an impressive operation. The animals were less impressed with me, though. An orangutang peed in his plastic cup, slurped it into his mouth and tried to spit it on me (he missed!)

Later one of the keepers suggested I try feeding pieces of yam to the giraffe by putting them in my mouth. The giraffe's two-foot-long blue tongue snaked down my throat. Ick! I think we're married now.

I'm sure Darcie appreciates that! ;) Her neck didn't look that long too me.......

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The zoo in Omaha Nebraska is far better than the Houston zoo, in a much smaller market. Almost all of the funding for major updates/rennovations was from private sources. The city shouldn't be to blame, the zoo should be able to raise its own funding.

As long as the city whores the zoo out for it's P.R. tourism machine, then yes, they are to blame.

My daughter doesn't think our zoo is crappy. She loves it. That's good enough for me.

Zoo memberships here are a great deal if you have a family.

I agree. My daughter loves it and we have a family membership as well.

Edited by Jeebus
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The zoo in Omaha Nebraska is far better than the Houston zoo, in a much smaller market. Almost all of the funding for major updates/rennovations was from private sources. The city shouldn't be to blame, the zoo should be able to raise its own funding.

If you read my post again, you'll see that my comment about the city inadequately funding the zoo was more an issue before the zoo started charging admission -- at a time when it was largely dependent on the city for financial support. Since the changes in how the zoo was managed were put in place, which included charging admission, very large renovation projects have been undertaken. There's a lot more corporate sponsorship of the major projects at the zoo than there was in the past. Improvements take time. But if you look at the areas that have been improved -- things such as the primates exhibit, children's petting zoo, and even the big cats exhibit (one of the older renovations at this point), the improvements are quite evident. A large portion of the zoo has been closed off for several years now for the development of the new African exhibit, which will greatly improve the quality of the zoo's habitats for many animals. But projects like these don't happen overnight. It takes years of planning and fundraising before construction can even start; then it may take several years to build the new habitat areas.

Admission fees at the zoo are quite reasonable -- and there are numerous free admission days every year. And as previously mentioned, the family memberships are a great bargain for families that visit several times a year.

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