Red Panda Cubs

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At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Category: Species Survival Plan

OKC Zoo Birds Curator and Assistant Curator Named Species Survival Plan Coordinators

Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs were developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to help oversee the husbandry and breeding management and, as a result, the sustainability of select animal species within AZA-member institutions, such as zoos. Many of these programs help enhance conservation efforts of these species in the wild as well. Currently, almost 500 SSP programs exist, each of which helps to manage the breeding of a select species and is overseen by the appropriate... Read More
at Monday, September 17, 2018
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New at the Zoo: Critically Endangered Addra Gazelle

The Oklahoma City Zoo is pleased to welcome three male Addra gazelle to its animal family! Their names have special significance, relating to their individual personalities while paying tribute to the species’ native lands. Two-year-old Obi’s name is Yoruban for “heart” since he has a heart-shaped white patch of fur on his chest; one-year-old Takitti’s name means watermelon because gazelle will often eat melons to stay hydrated; and two-year-old Jabari’s name... Read More
at Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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Snow Leopard Update: Milenka Births Two Cubs, Neither Survives

On Sunday, May 27, at approximately 3 p.m., the Oklahoma City Zoo’s female snow leopard, Milenka, birthed two cubs in her Cat Forest habitat. One cub, a male, was stillborn; the other, a female, survived for slightly more than a day before succumbing to anomalies affecting her spine, leaving her unable to move her back legs. Milenka, 9, is in good health after the delivery. She came to the OKC Zoo in 2016 as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan... Read More
at Wednesday, May 30, 2018
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OKC Zoo Welcomes Two Red Pandas

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is pleased to announce the addition of red pandas, Thomas, 4, and Leela, 3, to its animal family. They join Jaya, a 10-year-old female who has been at the OKC Zoo since 2011. Jaya’s offspring Wasabi, a female born in 2016 , is relocating to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium as part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation to help promote genetic diversity through species management. Wasabi was the fifteenth red panda cub born... Read More
at Friday, February 23, 2018
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Leader of the Pack: OKC Zoo African Painted Dog Research Unlocks Species Secrets

Endangered African painted dogs , like those at the Oklahoma City Zoo , live in dynamic family groups and have a population of only about 1,400 mature individuals in the wild. That’s why establishing a large breeding population is an important safeguard against extinction. Painted dog breeding and population management is coordinated through the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan (SSP) . The SSP moves animals among zoos regularly to maintain genetic... Read More
at Wednesday, February 7, 2018
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Rupert’s Romp to Indiana’s Mesker Park Zoo

Rupert is the youngest of the Zoo’s three Greater One-Horned rhinos, also known as the Indian Rhino. As the curator of pachyderms, I had the great privilege of being one of few humans to witness a live rhino birth, Rupert’s birth. Rupert was born on exhibit on June 21, 2014. His mom, Niki, had been on birth watch for almost 15 months - one month longer than the average 14-month gestation period.   The entire pachyderm animal care staff was monitoring Niki’s behavior... Read More
at Monday, November 20, 2017
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Cat Conservation: A Lesson about the Birds and the Bees

When we refer to carnivores at the Zoo, we’re usually talking about our big and small cats, such as tigers, ocelots, snow leopards, jaguars and caracals, just to name a few, that live in Cat Forest. Each of these beautiful, powerful and diverse animals requires distinctive health care, food and enrichment. Most are solitary by nature and only come together to breed, which can make their encounters pretty intense but very significant for their species.  Breeding and... Read More
at Tuesday, March 28, 2017
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From Australia to Oklahoma: Negara’s 10,000-Mile Journey

After a two-year process, the Oklahoma City Zoo has welcomed home 23-year-old, female Sumatran orangutan Negara. The Zoo had to apply for permits from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, while Australia had to follow its government’s permitting protocol.  Almost a full year passed before both permits for Negara’s move were approved.  Laura Bottaro, OKC zoological curator, worked diligently with colleagues to write Negara’s permit and a company that specializes in... Read More
at Tuesday, January 31, 2017
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Breeding: A Natural Behavior that Supports Well-being

Breeding and reproduction are important, natural behaviors and normal aspects of the lifecycle for all animals. At the Oklahoma City Zoo, we support the natural breeding behavior of our Asian elephant herd, as it promotes the physical health of the animals and a quality well-being. This quality of life for elephants is best experienced in a natural social structure involving a mixed herd of several different generations. At the Zoo, the elephants engage in natural breeding behavior. The... Read More
at Monday, December 26, 2016
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The Fight Against Extinction

How Will Our Animals Survive? Just how will zoo animals survive so that future generations continue to care and learn about, and enjoy these complex creatures? Well, there’s a big blueprint for that! It’s called the Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The SSP programs were developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to help oversee the husbandry and breeding management and, as a result, the sustainability of select animal species within AZA-member institutions, such... Read More
at Monday, December 5, 2016
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Xena’s Big Delivery of Fourteen Painted Pups

While alpha male, Dojo, stood guard outside the den box in the early morning hours of November 17, Xena, our female African painted dog, began giving birth to her fourth litter of critically endangered pups. Throughout the delivery, the exact number of pups was a mystery to Zoo staff as they monitored Xena’s progress on remote cameras. After two days of active labor, they confirmed that Xena had given birth to 14 painted pups! Xena has become an experienced and doting mother.... Read More
at Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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