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

November Case Debrief
Case: Clue Spotter the Otter wants to take one more vacation before the holidays arrive. He is thinking about going to visit his friends in a country far from here. Can you figure out the country by looking at the relatives of Clue Spotter’s friends here at the Zoo? 
Status: Mystery Solved!
Answer: Australia
Answer: Scavenger
  • Clue #1: You were told to look for the first clue at the parakeet aviary. You found a replica of a parakeet skull and a feather. You learned that the parakeets live all over the mystery country, but more specifically, they live in the grasslands, open woodlands, and scrublands. 
  • Clue #2: For the second clue you were told to look inside the World of Reptiles. You found a snake shed from a Woma python and a photo of the Woma phython’s habitat. Hmm … this is an important clue since it shows us an example of a habitat in the mystery country. Did it look familiar?  
  • Clue #3: For the last clue you were told to look by the kangaroos. There, you found a model of a newborn baby joey and found out that kangaroo joeys are only the size of a jellybean at birth! There was also a picture of a mother kangaroo’s pouch. You learned that kangaroos are born blind and hairless, and they travel through their mother’s fur to get to the pouch where they develop and can nurse. 

Great job, detectives! You figured out where I want to go! This is sure to be a great vacation for me! 

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.