Dallas Zoo | KERA News

Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

The zoo can be a challenging place for people with sensory issues. The sounds, sights and smells — taken altogether — can easily overwhelm someone with a condition like autism, dementia or post-traumatic stress.

To help those visitors, the Dallas Zoo has been certified as "sensory inclusive." That means visitors have access to things like noise cancelling headphones, weighted lap pads and even fidget tools and verbal cue cards — all of which can help ease sensory overload.

Melissa Spence / Dallas Zoo via Twitter

The Dallas Zoo prepared for large crowds Tuesday during $1 admission day even as forecasters predicted triple-digit temperatures and issued a heat advisory.

Zoo spokeswoman Chelsey Norris says a typical summer weekday would attract 2,000 guests. Norris says a Dallas Zoo dollar admission day in July drew more than 30,000 visitors, with temperatures in the 90s.

Dallas Zoo visitors watch trainers work with lions at the Wild Gatherings event on Monday, March 25, 2019.
Syeda Hasan / KERA News

On a sunny spring day, families gathered outside the lion enclosure at the Dallas Zoo, where trainers took the big cats through some exercises and rewarded them with meatballs. Sara Salinas came out to see the lions with her uncle Simon, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease about 11 years ago. 

The Dallas Zoo's 13-year-old critically endangered western lowland gorilla Megan delivered her infant in the early morning of March 7. This is Megan's first baby, and zoo official say both are doing great.
Dallas Zoo

Nine-month-old Saambili now has a playmate and half-sibling at the Dallas Zoo — a healthy baby born quietly in the early hours of March 7.

Dallas Zoo

When she was born on June 25, her mother, Hope, held her so tightly that zookeepers weren't able to determine her gender at first.

Courtesy of Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo has welcomed its first baby gorilla in 20 years.   

The baby was born June 25 to 22-year-old critically endangered western lowland gorilla, Hope. She’s been keeping the baby close to her since birth — so close that zookeepers have not been able to determine a gender yet, the zoo said in its announcement Monday.

Dallas Zoo / Twitter

Update, May 4: The Dallas Zoo has named its new baby giraffe, Witten, after retiring Dallas Cowboys tight end, Jason Witten

The male giraffe, standing at 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds, was born on April 25 at the Dallas Zoo. It’s the second baby for mom Chrystal, who gave birth to her first calf, Kopano, in 2014. 

Dallas Zoo

A female hippo at the Dallas Zoo gave birth to her first calf Saturday morning, but the baby did not survive, the zoo announced.

Dallas Zoo / Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas Zoo had a good year; short-lived Corpus Christi mayor aims for Ted Cruz’s seat; investor polishes gem in Dallas music history; and more.

Courtesy of the Dallas Zoo

For the past few years, the Dallas Zoo has been trying to get an accurate blood pressure reading for their gorillas – without having to put them to sleep.

It’s part of a national effort across several accredited zoos to better understand cardiovascular health in apes to prevent heart disease in captivity.

Oh sure, you could argue there are other, more important things happening in the world. And frankly, you'd be right. (For those things, by the way — which some people, in somber tones, might call newsplease see here.)

But sometimes, you just need to watch a big gorilla dance in a small pool.

Joel Sartore / National Geographic

For a new project, National Geographic's Joel Sartore has photographed over 6,000 species held in zoos, sanctuaries and other captive institutions across the world because they're "the animals we have."

The Dallas Zoo

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A 3-foot, 175-pound male calf was born May 14 at the Dallas Zoo; AT&T is expanding internet access in South Dallas; a 12-year-old Austinite is competing in a barbecue championship on Food Network; and more.


The Dallas Zoo welcomed five new elephants last month as part of an import from Swaziland. They’ve just finished their mandatory quarantine, and staffers are preparing them for their public debut.  

Dallas Zoo

An animal rights group has sued to stop zoos in Texas and two other states from bringing in new elephants from Africa.

The Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo has been authorized to import elephants from Swaziland. The zoo announced today that it’s received a permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to provide a home for elephants that it says would otherwise be killed.

Texas Zoos Struggle To Limit Guns Under New Laws

Jan 7, 2016
Kevin1086 via Wikimedia Commons

The next battle over gun rights in Texas may take place in an unlikely setting: the zoo.


The Dallas Zoo is among three American zoos looking to import 18 elephants that are in danger in Swaziland, a country in southern Africa. As they wait for approval from the federal government, animal rights activists are speaking out against the move. 

Emily Bach / Facebook

Dallas Zoo staffers and fans are mourning, after a 3-month-old giraffe died in a freak accident.

The giraffe, named Kipenzi, was frolicking around her habitat Tuesday when she turned the wrong way and ran into a wall. She broke her neck and died almost instantly.

Dallas Zoo

Mama, an African elephant at the Dallas Zoo since 2010, has died.

Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo’s baby giraffe has a name: Kipenzi. And she’ll soon start appearing outdoors at the zoo.

Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo has announced three potential names for the baby giraffe that was born in front of a world-wide audience last week.

Dallas Zoo

If you’re ever bitten by a venomous snake, your local hospital can probably take care of you. But if an exotic snake bites you, chances are a hurried phone call will be made to the Dallas Zoo. It has one of the country’s largest supplies of anti-venom.

Animal Planet

We have some breaking news to report – of the baby giraffe variety. Katie, a Dallas Zoo giraffe, has given birth – and it’s being streamed live.

Laurie Holloway/Dallas Zoo

A Dallas Zookeeper went on a fossil hunt with his little boy at a construction site in Mansfield. And the 4-year-old picked up what turned out to be a dinosaur bone – likely 100 million years old. On Wednesday, scientists found another key bone.

Dallas Zoo

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Dallas writer is sentenced to prison; Dallas and Fort Worth don't have much "arts vibrancy;" NPR's Michel Martin will tackle the ethics of football in Dallas; and more. 

The Dallas Zoo

After two weeks without a name, the public has chosen the moniker for the Dallas Zoo's new giraffe. 

Gov. Rick Perry's office

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Gov. Rick Perry will attend a pre-trial hearing in his abuse-of-power case, Dallas nurse Amber Vinson defends herself against critics, Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner will be on ‘Think,’ and more.

The Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo welcomed a newborn giraffe to its 12-member giraffe herd last week and someone already bought the naming rights to the calf, but now, the public will get some say on what to name the 6-foot fellow.

Kovalchynskyy Mykola / Shutterstock

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a couple from Nashville choose an unusual venue for their wedding, the outcome of the Denton fracking ban vote may not be the end of legal debate, the Dallas Zoo sells off naming rights for a newborn giraffe, and more.