Zoo's Clues

The Detective Headquarters is open on Saturday, 10am - 2pm
weather dependent

You can print out your clue sheet or take one from the mailbox at Detective Headquarters at the zoo any time!

If you have questions or would like to submit your own mystery, e-mail us at


Super Sleuths Wanted
Greetings Detectives,

My name is Detective Clue Spotter the Otter, and I need YOUR help solving monthly mysteries! Study the evidence, engage in the suspense, observe the clues, and use your detective skills to unravel the mystery, all while learning about our natural world.

Are you ready to get started? Our Detective Headquarters is open and staffed by our highly trained secret agents from 10am – 2pm on Saturdays. Want to help me crack the case but can’t make it on a Saturday? No problem, during the week, Zoo’s Clues is a self-guided activity! All of the confidential materials you need are in the brown mailbox at our Detective Headquarters, located across from the elephant exhibit.

You can print out this month’s clue sheet (file on the right) from home if you want to get a head start!

At the end of the month we’ll post the case debrief below so you can learn even more information about the mysteries we’ve solved together.

Your pal,
Clue Spotter the Otter

Closed Cases

October Case Debrief
Case: Clue Spotter has to find a great hiding spot for all of his Halloween candy because he has some friends here at the Zoo who might find it and eat it! These three animals all have a common role in their ecosystem that involves the way they get their food. Can you figure out what their role is and why Clue Spotter thinks they might find his hard-earned candy? 
Status: Mystery solved
Answer: Scavenger
  • Clue #1: Our lappet-faced vultures, Creepy and Anubis, are the vacuum cleaners of the African savanna. They help the ecosystem by cleaning up the scraps that other animals won’t eat. 
  • Clue #2: Voodoo, Zoo Atlanta’s resident Virginia opossum, will eat just about anything! Have you ever seen an opossum in your backyard searching for a snack?  
  • Clue #3: Timber the binturong might smell like popcorn, but she eats many different things! She is a scavenger, just like the Virginia opossum and the lappet-faced vulture, which means she eats food whenever and wherever she can find it.
Great job, detectives! I couldn’t have solved this one without you! I hope you will join me for another mystery next month. 
Your Pal,

Clue Spotter the Otter

Skills you need to be a good Zoo detective:

  • The ability to observe. You should really take a good look at the clues provided. Look at clues from several angles and make note of any details on or about the clue. What is the clue or where did it come from? How does is fit with your knowledge and with the other clues provided? Every part of the clue will help you get one step closer to cracking the case.
  • Good memory. You should try to remember all clues provided and details of each to piece together an answer. Cross check each clue and then think how that might fit with your knowledge of animals.
  • Awareness of animal behavior, physical characteristics, and abilities is important. In order to solve some of our mysteries, you are going to need to know a little bit about animals. What do animals look like and what are their characteristics? Where do they live, what do they eat, (and what does their poop look like!), what are some of their behaviors, and what might be an animal’s motive for committing the crime?
  • Detectives are helpful, too. Not only do Zoo detectives want to help Detective Otter figure out “whodunit” but they are generally helpful to their neighbors, friends and to nature.