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Category: Field Conservation

Notes from the Field: Stephany Hernandez Recounts Guatemalan Conservation Journey

Stephany Hernandez, OKC Zoo herpetology caretaker, recently returned from a conservation journey to Guatemala. These are her notes from the field: Hi, I’m Stephany Hernandez, an animal caretaker for the herpetology department at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. My typical day starts with a visual health check of our reptiles. Depending on the day, we then might distribute salads or clean habitats. In the afternoon, we conduct a variety of husbandry tasks from bedding... Read More
at Thursday, October 10, 2019
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Notes from the Field: Holly Ray Reports on Flamingo Rescue in South Africa

OKC Zoo Assistant Birds Curator Holly Ray shares her conservation field work experience rescuing flamingos in South Africa... In January, a severe drought dried out Kamfers Dam which is located in Kimberly, South Africa. Kamfers Dam is a very important breeding site for lesser flamingos, it is the location of one of only four lesser flamingo breeding sites in Africa. Due to the lack of water at the dam, adult flamingos abandoned their nests leaving nearly 2,000 eggs and flamingo... Read More
at Monday, April 15, 2019
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Notes from the Field: Employees of a Feather Survey Together

While it is certainly true that many species of birds in North America fly to warmer climates when the temperatures begin to drop, there are still many more that stay at their homes year-round! This February, I was lucky enough to join three Zoo employees and three employees from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) on a conservation journey to Robbers Cave State Park and James Collins Wildlife Management Area in Eastern Oklahoma... Read More
at Tuesday, March 12, 2019
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Notes from the Field: Reflections from Zimbabwe

  This trip to Zimbabwe has been an emotional and humbling experience. I lost my best friend to cancer this year and we always wanted to go to Africa together. She talked about going on a safari, so it’s very fitting that I’m here now. Resources just aren’t readily available here. Butter, bread, water, concrete… they get what they can when it’s available. They don’t even have an option to have items mailed. Customs gave us a hard time... Read More
at Monday, January 7, 2019
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Notes from the Field: Sustainability Not Just Watchword with Painted Dog Researchers

I was fortunate enough to travel to Zimbabwe in November to visit the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) and participate in the conservation efforts supported by the OKC Zoo. In Sizinda, Zimbabwe, where the project is located, scarcity is an ever-present reality of day-to-day life. We quickly learned that conservation isn’t just the act of saving a species or even a habitat, it is a way of life. The water we use to cook, clean our dishes and even bathe is reclaimed and reused for the... Read More
at Thursday, December 27, 2018
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OKC Zoo Crew Batty for Conservation

This August, the OKC Zoo and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) teamed up to perform bat inventories in the Cimarron Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in northwest Oklahoma. ODWC conducts annual inventories to determine which bat species are using the area and to study population health. Bats are often viewed by humans as pests, but they actually provide a number of benefits known as ecosystem services to their habitats and people . Many types of bats consume insects, reducing... Read More
at Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Notes from the Field: OKC Zoo's Josh Lucas Documents Tortoise Rescue Efforts in Madagascar

On April 10, 2018, nearly 11,000 critically endangered radiated tortoises were discovered by local police in a private residence in Toliara, Madagascar. Almost every room in the house was filled with tortoises without access to food or water. It is believed that the tortoises were collected for the illegal pet trade, possibly for shipment to Asia where the tortoises’ highly-domed shell featuring a brilliant star pattern makes them highly prized. The Turtle Survivor Alliance (TSA) in... Read More
at Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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OKC Zoo Team Reports on Kenya Conservation Journey, Part 2

Amy Hofmeister, elephant caretaker, and Gretchen Cole, veterinarian, spent two weeks in Kenya assisting the Grevy’s Zebra Trust census of endangered Grevy’s zebras. The Trust received a grant from the OKC Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation fund to support their program that employs members of local communities to monitor and collect data on the zebras year-round. In this second and final part of a blog series, Dr. Gretchen Cole shares her experience from Kenya. Kenya has... Read More
at Wednesday, February 28, 2018
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OKC Zoo Team Reports on Kenya Conservation Journey, Part 1

Amy Hofmeister, elephant caretaker, and Gretchen Cole, veterinarian, spent two weeks in Kenya assisting the Grevy’s Zebra Trust  census of endangered Grevy’s zebras. The Trust received a grant from the OKC Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation fund to support their program that employs members of local communities to monitor and collect data on the zebras year-round. In part one of a two-part blog series, Amy Hofmeister shares her experience from Kenya. Citizen Science... Read More
at Monday, February 26, 2018
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Conservation in Action: OKC Zoo team members take love of wildlife to the heart of Africa

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... Read More
at Tuesday, November 14, 2017
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