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At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Category: Elephant care

Pool Time with the Elephants

Summer is upon us at the OKC Zoo, and the elephants have already begun utilizing one of their most-enjoyed creature comforts – the water features! When you visit the Asian elephant herd during this time of the year, you’ll likely witness the elephants swimming and playing in the water.  Our habitats have ample opportunities for the animals to cool down when the Oklahoma summer heat begins. Our largest habitat has a 220,000 galloon pool that is 12-feet deep,... Read More
at Monday, August 7, 2017
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Zookeeper Highlight: Debbie Bastin

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. Next up is Debbie Baston! Debbie cares for the Zoo's herd of Asian elephants!  How long have you... Read More
at Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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Zoo Elephant Team Shares Skills 8,000 Miles Away

Last fall, myself and two other members of the Zoo’s Elephant team had the incredible opportunity to travel to India for two weeks to consult with Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation Center. This adventure brought us to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal and home of 18 rescued elephants (ages 7 to 60) that now reside at the Center. Here, we were asked to assist the veterinarians and mahouts (elephant caretakers) with elephant foot care, positive reinforcement training techniques, implementing new... Read More
at Monday, February 27, 2017
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The Biggest Feet in the Zoo

The Oklahoma City Zoo’s elephant program encompasses daily feedings, exercises, baths enrichment activities and health checks. As a part of the elephant team, I enjoy doing footwork on the elephants the most. Footwork is a very important part of keeping our elephants healthy. Everyday during each elephant’s morning bath, we hose off and inspect their feet for any problems. An elephant’s foot pad is like a giant shock absorber that enables them to walk, swim, climb, stomp on... Read More
at Sunday, December 18, 2016
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Bamboo, The Beloved Grandma of our Herd

Bamboo, the Asian elephant, is the oldest of our herd at 49 years old.  That’s pretty good considering the median lifespan of an Asian elephant is 47 years!   Bamboo is the grandma of our herd and with that comes some extra care and considerations.  All of the elephants begin their day with a bath in which the keepers check their entire body from trunk to tail, and Bamboo is no exception.  This is the time where she gets to spend one-on-one time with her keepers... Read More
at Sunday, November 27, 2016
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Global Conference on Elephant Care Comes to Oklahoma City

Elephants have been a passion of mine since I first saw one at the San Diego Zoo when I was a child.  From that point, I knew I wanted to help save wildlife and wild places.  I started my career at the Virginia Zoo in 2002 working with African elephants Monica, Lisa and Cita. In 2006, I joined the team at the Oklahoma City Zoo to work with their two female Asian elephants Chandra and Asha, and I haven’t looked back. Over the years, the Zoo’s elephant herd has grown... Read More
at Tuesday, October 11, 2016
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