Category: Zoo conservation and science
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Last month, the OKC Zoo received a field research update from University of Oklahoma graduate student Elyse Ellsworth who the Zoo is funding to study Central American river turtles (aka hicatee) in Belize. Elyse is capturing wild hicatee and placing radio-transmitters on them to track their movements. This is not easy to do considering these turtles spend most of their time underwater – making them hard to find and hard to track because the transmitter only sends data when...
at Thursday, February 28, 2019
Monday, May 7, 2018
You are never supposed to have a favorite animal, but I have to admit some of us do. For me, it’s Asha, the OKC Zoo’s 23-year-old female Asian elephant. She has a sweet temperament, eager to train and socialize with caretakers. She is also a wonderful mother to Achara, 3, and will soon be raising a new calf, due this fall after a 22-month gestation! Rex, 48, will yet again be a proud papa fathering his second calf since he arrived at the Zoo.
You may be asking...
at Monday, May 7, 2018
Monday, April 23, 2018
Guests visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden can now charge their vehicles at no cost at one of three charging stations located along the northwest side of the recently renovated parking lot. These spaces are reserved for Zoo guests driving electric or e-assist vehicles and are located just a few steps away from the main entrance.
In addition to the charging stations, the recently renovated parking lot features highly efficient LED lighting and native, drought-resistant...
at Monday, April 23, 2018
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Giraffes are experiencing a “silent” extinction crisis. Until recently, they were considered common throughout much of their African range and their numbers were not being well-monitored. In the last five years, however, experts from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group compiled population data and discovered that the wild giraffe population has declined by 40 percent in the last 30 years. Habitat destruction and poaching...
at Thursday, April 5, 2018
Friday, December 22, 2017
New to the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Gardens this past summer were a family group of Trumpeter Swans. On public view at the waterfowl ponds near the front entrance are an adult pair (white plumage) and their fully grown offspring (called a cygnet, gray plumage for the first year).
The mating pair, Sam and Olivia, and their male cygnet, hatched in June 2017, were actually my families’ personal swans who made the journey to OKC with us when we moved here after I accepted the...
at Friday, December 22, 2017
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Oklahoma’s premier destination connecting people and our world’s vanishing wildlife and wild places . This is the Zoo’s mission and it guides everything we do. To fulfill this mission it’s vital that we connect our staff to our world’s vanishing wildlife and wild places, so that they can accurately and passionately convey the world’s extinction crisis to our guests who will likely never see an elephant, or rhino, or zebra in the ever dwindling wild places...
at Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Monday, September 18, 2017
I am very fortunate to be a member of the Oklahoma Conservation Leadership Academy (OCLA) this year. OCLA was created by The Nature Conservancy’s Oklahoma Chapter (TNC-OK) to bring engaged, creative and active people from around the state together to learn about science-based conservation and how they can become conservation stewards in their community and beyond. OCLA is a yearlong program consisting of workshops, field trips, meetings and socials. The 2017-2018 program kicked off...
at Monday, September 18, 2017
Thursday, September 7, 2017
The monarchs are coming! Join us on Saturday, September 23, to celebrate the monarch migration, and learn how you can help monarchs and other pollinators.
One of the greatest spectacles of nature occurs in Oklahoma each fall. It’s the migration of millions of monarch butterflies from their summer breeding grounds in the upper United States and Canada to their overwintering grounds in central Mexico. Those who have been fortunate to be momentarily engulfed...
at Thursday, September 7, 2017
Thursday, August 31, 2017
What is big, bald, and known as nature’s garbage disposal? Vultures!
The first Saturday in September is World Vulture Awareness Day. It may seem strange to devote an entire day to a fearsome-looking bird species but vultures are very important to the world’s natural ecosystems. Vultures are critical in all habitats because they consume dead animals – reducing the risk of transmitted...
at Thursday, August 31, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
One of the best ways to beat the summer heat is to enjoy the perfect tasty, cold and sweet treat – ice cream! But before you go digging into that carton that’s waiting for you in the freezer, ask yourself, “Have I checked to make sure it doesn’t contain palm oil?”
This blog’s purpose is not to discuss the health implications of consuming palm oil. We’re here to tell you about the products you can consume that don’t contain non-sustainable palm...
at Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Monday, August 21, 2017
African Painted Dogs have gone by several different names over the years. In fact, you might’ve heard Cape Hunting dogs or African Wild dogs as well. Many individuals confuse their species with hyenas. Although their appearance is similar, this comparison is not accurate.
African Painted Dogs are Africa’s equivalent to North America’s wolves. They are both highly advanced predators, have a similar social structure and a place of dominance or subordination in the pack,...
at Monday, August 21, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
The Campbell’s alligator lizard is a critically endangered tree-dwelling lizard found only in one small part of Guatemala. Falsely believed to be venomous, until recently this lizard was killed on sight and the forest it lived in was reduced to a fragment. The OKC Zoo is helping to fund a forest restoration and conservation education project that has changed the community’s attitude about these lizards and increased their habitat.
Campbell’s alligator lizards live in mature...
at Friday, August 18, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
The Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden is celebrating National Zookeeper Week – taking place from July 16 through July 22. Our staff of zookeepers are hardworking, passionate and driven individuals who spend each day caring for the animals in their various departments! This week, we are highlighting six zookeepers; ranging from elephant to carnivore caretakers. First up is Josh Lucas! Keeper Josh cares for the reptiles and amphibians of the OKC Zoo.
How long have you...
at Monday, July 17, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
We celebrated World Giraffe Day at the Zoo on June 21, however, the Zoo’s commitment to protecting giraffes goes far beyond one day of celebration. Giraffes are one of the most recognizable animals in the world and a favorite of many zoo-goers. Despite this, they have not been well-studied and much remains to be learned about their social systems. The Zoo is supporting this important research through its Conservation Action Now (CAN) grant program.
Until recently giraffes were...
at Friday, June 23, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
What’s palm oil?
Palm oil is most widely produced edible vegetable oil and comes from the African oil palm tree. These trees grow well in tropical areas with abundant rainfall. It is found in many, many products we eat and use every day, including cookies, crackers, candy, frozen dinners, cosmetics, shampoo, lotion, and pet food. It is also used as a biofuel.
What’s the problem?
The demand for palm oil is increasing and rainforests are being logged then burned to...
at Thursday, April 20, 2017