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

March Case Debrief
Case:  There are exciting things happening around Zoo Atlanta! Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience opens on April 2, and Clue Spotter the Otter has noticed some new reptile friends moving into the Zoo that he has never seen before. One of these new animals has left a trail of clues behind, and Clue Spotter thinks the mystery animal wants his attention! Can you help Clue Spotter find out who left the trail?
Status: Mystery Solved!
Answer: Cuban crocodile 
  • Clue #1: These reptiles are fantastic moms that provide maternal, or motherly, care and protection for their young for a longer amount of time than do most reptiles. In fact, Clue Spotter noticed some recently hatched egg shells that the mystery animal left behind.
  • Clue #2: This animal left behind a flag from its homeland, Cuba, to hint that it is named after this island! (Hint - this animal must be a Cuban _______!)
  • Clue #3: This reptile is a carnivore, which means it eats meat like fish, birds, small mammals and amphibians. Clue Spotter notices the mystery animal left behind some leftovers from its last meal.
Put it all together: You learned that this mystery reptile is a fantastic mom that offers care and protection for her babies until they are big enough to take care of themselves. You also learned that this animal is from the island country of Cuba and is named the Cuban _____. Finally, you learned that is reptile is a carnivore, which means it eats meat. What kind of reptile is this mystery animal? It’s a Cuban crocodile!

Great job, detectives! You figured out what the mystery reptile was! Hope you are just as excited as I am for the grand opening of Scaly Slimy Spectacular on April 2!

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.