Wild Night in Africa with Houston Zoo Giraffes. Giraffes!

The Houston Zoo's group of young supporters, Flock, were invited to the African Forest Exhibit to mix and mingle with the Masai giraffes and a few other animals.

Last night the Houston Zoo invited the Flock, the zoo’s group of young supporters, to visit the giraffe house at the new African Forest exhibit.

More than 100 visitors arrived to the after hours event and got an up-close encounter with eight Masai giraffes housed at the zoo. Guests were taken in groups to a barn where they were able to stand on an elevated platform to feed, pet and play with the long-necked, spotted herbivores. As it turns out, giraffes are wildly social and curious. Without much prodding they walked right up to the visitors to nibble from their hands, pose for photos and take a lick at guests’ toes.

The giraffes are just one area of the zoo’s African Forest exhibit, which opened late last year. The 6.5-acre habitat is home to a colony of chimps, white rhinos, and antelope. While guests didn’t get up close and personal with the rhinos,  keepers brought a few animals to the party including Olivia, one of the guinea hogs, and Ernie, the North American porcupine.

Last night’s event is one of the zoo’s many private group functions. If you missed the event, we posted photos from last night. And if you were there and miss the giraffes,  you can see them anytime on  the zoo’s live web camera of the giraffe platform and barn.

We’ve attended several Flock events, and applaud the group whose mission is to inspire a new generation of zoo supporters.  Flock is underwritten by Momentum Audi and the evening’s event was sponsored by Freebirds, Saint Arnold Brewing Company,  and Yelp of Houston.  For more information on joining the Flock, visit  www.houstonzoo.org/flock.

Be sure to check the Houston Zoo Event Calendar to plan your next visit to the zoo!

Last night’s photos!

Schipul Flocks to The Houston Zoo’s Beastly Brunch

A Wonderful, Wild Sunday

Cocktails?   Brunch?   A live DJ? Awesome animals?   Yes, please!   This was the set-up for the Houston Zoo’s Beastly Brunch held on Sunday and it was marvelous.   The Beastly Brunch and other such events at the Zoo are held by Flock – The Houston Zoo’s Young Supporters Group who do their best to promote public awareness and interest in The Houston Zoo with events such as this one.

Houston Zoo Beastly Brunch Food

Party Animals

The   DJ and the reflection pool created a perfect atmosphere for a Sunday brunch and the weather was superb!   Cocktail bars, coffee and Sprinkles cupcakes were set up and down the length of the reflection pool with tasty buffet of bruchy eats at the end for everyone to enjoy.   My coffee was followed by a bloody mary, a mimosa, croissants, various quiches, fruit and cupcakes… that’s right; cupcakes and mimosas at the zoo with a herd of Houston’s animal lovers.     Bliss.

Houston Zoo Beastly Brunch DJ

Cuddly Critters!

Not only did The Houston Zoo provide an amazing morning of mingling and gnarly nibbles, but they also brought out some adorable critters!   I got to meet a chinchilla and a very tiny owl.     I’m a sucker for fuzzy and tiny creatures and these guys were just too much cute to handle.

Schipul At The Houston Zoo

It was a great day…

The Beastly Brunch lasted from 12pm-2pm; so afterward we walked off all the deliciousness with a stroll through the zoo, which is always a delight, waved goodbye to our new animal friends and headed home (sleepy, but excited for the next event at The Houston Zoo).

Houston Zoo Beastly Brunch Owl

Kudos to Flock!   Want to Join them?

Flock is a group of 21 and up professionals who devote themselves to the growth and success of The Houston Zoo with unique, exciting and educational events throughout the year.   It’s easy to join Flock and a membership carries with it awesome privileges including entry to some fantastic shin-digs and exclusive volunteer opportunities.

Thanks, Sponsors!

Also, thank you to the sponsors of The Houston Zoo’s Beastly Brunch!   Food, atmosphere and beverages were also provided by the following:

St Arnolds BrewerySprinkles Cupcakes

Yelp HoustonMomentum Audi

All photos taken by our own Katrina Esco.

Houston Zoo Beastly Brunch Yelp

We Saw a Lady Walking a Cheetah

Of all the things I imagined seeing this weekend, a   cheetah on a leash taking a leisurely stroll through the Houston Zoo was NOT on the list. But that’s the kind of thing that happens during Photo Day at the Houston Zoo.

Photo Day is a series of 6 outings during which photographers and photography enthusiasts can visit the Houston Zoo and take pictures of the animals. Fellow Schipulite Derek Key (@dereskey) and I had the opportunity to attend Saturday’s photo day…and that’s how we saw the cheetah.

Our Day…in Photos

The animals are likely to be active during the earliest part of the day, especially in the summer…in Houston. So for Photo Day, the zoo opens two hours early (at 7am) and lets photo enthusiasts catch the early risers. I’ve been to the Houston   Zoo countless times, but this is the first time I saw so many of the big cats and rare birds.

The lions roamed their pen long enough for photo ops…

We watched the reptiles have breakfast, which is creepy and AWESOME

We found out what a Cassowary is…

and finally, we discovered that the meerkats draw quite a crowd!

Have an Awesome Time AND Help the Zoo

Since the Houston Zoo is a non-profit organization it relies heavily on membership and attendance for support. While Photo Day is open to both the public and zoo membership holders, the   zoo features   special events   just for members, including Zoobilee and special Member Mornings.

In addition to cool member activities, the zoo is also involved in conservation efforts like the Lone Star State Projects and fundraising to for treatments that help prevent elephant herpes.

Be sure to check out the Houston Zoo’s Flickr photo stream, and upload photos of your zoo visits!

Friday Fun Post: Congrats to Houston Zoo new arrival!

Baylor the baby elephant! Photo from The Houston Zoo

Congratulations are in order for our client the Houston Zoo! After 23 months, Shanti the elephant has given birth to baby Baylor ~ named after the Baylor College of Medicine team in recognition for all they’ve done to reduce the threat of the elephant herpes virus. Appropriately, the week before Mother’s Day!

Elephant babies!

The adorable Baylor was born Tuesday morning at a healthy 348 pounds. It’s been an exciting time – over 50 volunteers and staff have been on 24-hour birth watch since February. The zoo held a baby shower for Shanti last month and showered her with gifts and a specially-made elephant cake.

And there’s more to come! Another Houston Zoo elephant, Tess, is due to give birth later this year.

More on baby Baylor

For more on baby Baylor and all of the elephants at the Houston Zoo, check out the zoo’s elephant blog Trunk Tales

And be sure to check out this slide show of the newborn elephant on Chron.com

Check out elephant baby Baylor slideshow on Chron.com

Friday Fun: Check out our SchipulCon Badges (and our giveaway too!!)

SchipulCon BadgeWe’ve got SchipulCon badges!! And now you can too.

Simply head over to our Conference Site, grab some code, and post one of our super neat SchipulCon Badges on your site, blog or twitter background to show your love.

That is not all though!! We want to give some of you a free pass to the conference.

Send us the URL (communications@schipul dot com) to your site showing some SchipulCon love and you could win a free pass to the conference! We’ll be giving away random free passes from now until day one of SchipulCom and it’s so easy to win one! Show some love + Win a free pass! That’s it.

Houston Zoo’s Toby makes Cute Overload!

A little Friday fun for our favorite Blog readers (you!), Houston Zoo‘s (disclaimer: a client) Toby the Red Panda was featured on Cute Overload today.

For those that do not regularly douse themselves in online cuteness, Cute Overload is very much what it sounds like – a site dedicated to capturing photos of animals that make you go ‘awwww’.   Having a rough day at the office?   Now you know just where to go to perk up.

Thanks to hawk-eye-for-online-silliness Fayza for finding this link.   Happy Friday!

The Houston Zoo has a new (very tall) baby boy!

It’s a boy!!   Congratulations to the Houston Zoo family (disclosure: a Schipul client) on their latest arrival:   a brand new Masai giraffe!

Early Friday morning, January 30 the Houston Zoo welcomed the birth of a bouncing baby boy Masai giraffe. ‘He was born around 6:30 a.m. and by 7:50 a.m. he was standing on his own,” Giraffes are the tallest living terrestrial animal.   The average male giraffe can reach a height of about 17 feet tall and can weight up to 3,000 pounds.   The average female giraffe can reach a height of 15 feet tall.   The average gestation period for Masai giraffes is 14 months.