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

July Case Debrief
Case:  Clue Spotter the Otter is throwing an Independence Day pool party for all of the animals at Zoo Atlanta. He is very excited to hang out with all of his friends and cool off from the hot summer sun.  All of his guests will be bringing their favorite snacks to share with the rest of the party. Kelly the African elephant is bringing a fruit salad to share, while Kavi the Sumatran tiger is bringing barbeque ribs for his fellow meat lovers. Clue Spotter is especially excited for Yzma, a very dear friend of his, to bring some fish to the party. Can you figure out what kind of animal Yzma is?
Status: Mystery Solved!
Answer: Giant otter
  • Clue #1: Rinca the Komodo dragon is one of Yzma’s neighbors here at the Zoo. He has noticed that she is quite the social butterfly and participates in many activities with her friends.
  • Clue #2:  All the birds in The Living Treehouse having been chirping about how Yzma is so large! In fact, her species of animal is the largest of her kind in terms of length.
  • Clue #3 : Henry, a young gorilla, has noticed that Yzma is a really good swimmer. She can swim as far as 330 meters in 30 seconds!
Put it all together: While solving this mystery, you learned that Yzma is very social and does many activities with her friends and family. Next, you learned that Yzma is quite large and is in fact the largest of her kind in terms of length. Finally, you learned that Yzma is an excellent swimmer and can swim as far as 330 meter in 30 seconds! What kind of animal is Yzma? She’s a giant otter!

Great job, detectives! You figured out what kind of animal my dear friend Yzma is! Now it’s time to kick back in the pool and enjoy the summer sun!

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.