Lego Creations Standing In For Live Zoo Animals

With animal tragedies such as the killing of Harambe, the silverback gorilla last year at the Cincinnati Zoo, debates continue as to whether animals should be caught and sequestered for captive lives in zoos? As folks become more aware as to how concrete slabs and tight confinement can cause depression and phobia — among elephants, lions and other wildlife — zoos become less justifiable from a humanitarian standpoint.

A New Kind of Animal

That’s why, when I learn about zoos initiating alternative exhibitions to ‘represent’ animals versus caging them, I'm encouraged more thought is being given to this important issue. Such is the case in Houston.  

This summer, the Houston Zoo will be home to a new kind of animal — that which is designed and constructed entirely out of LEGOs.

The Zoo's ‘Nature Connects’ exhibition will feature an ‘Art with LEGO Bricks’ exhibit. Created from 770,000 bricks, fashioned into a dozen amazingly detailed animal sculptures, visitors can view a wide range of wildlife, birds and insects, all juxtaposed with with real-life plants and trees.

What animal sculptures will you see?

• Hummingbird
• Dodo bird
• Snow leopard
• Chameleon
• Rhinoceros
• Whooping crane
• Coral reef
• Polar bear mother with three cubs
• Monarch butterfly
• Sea turtle
• Wildebeest
• Zebra

Labor of Love

Taking more than 6500 hours to build by hand, each individual sculpture was inspired by nature.

The exhibit reminds us how important it is to save species from extinction, as we learn how to protect pollinators, such as butterflies, bees and hummingbirds in our own backyards.

“Just as LEGO pieces interconnect, everything in nature is interconnected in a delicate balance. Insects and plants have important relationships; different species of animals have special relationships with each other — animals have connections with their families just like we do,” noted a zoo spokesperson.

About the Artist

Artist Sean Kenney is a renowned, award-winning artist and “professional kid” who uses LEGO pieces to design and create contemporary sculpture for high-profile clients, major corporations, and venues around the globe for more than a decade.

“I hope that you can look at 'Nature Connects' and appreciate both nature and the sculptures as something beautiful, and I also hope you’re inspired to go home and create something wonderful yourself,” said Kenney.

Houston Zoo All-Day Pass

The adult entrance fee is $19.95, which includes zoo admission, all-day 'Nature Connects' entry, and a conservation bracelet.

The children’s ticket at $19.95 features Zoo admission, all-day ‘Nature Connects’ entry, a conservation bracelet, and unlimited ‘Texas Direct Auto Wildlife Carousel’ rides.

You can purchase your ticket online, at the gate, or when you get to the exhibit!