At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

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Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 |

OKC Zoo News Releases


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is pleased to welcome Dr. Brad Lock, curator of herpetology and aquatics, and James Pratt, director of risk management, to its leadership team. Lock will manage the Zoo’s reptile, amphibian, invertebrate and cold-blooded aquatics collection and support day-to-day operations, as well as support the Zoo’s field conservation efforts and operational conservation practices. Pratt is responsible for identifying, evaluating and mitigating the Zoo’s operational and strategic risk. He also monitors and analyzes risk within the company’s business operations, including asset liability.

Prior to the OKC Zoo, Brad Lock served as curator of herpetology at Zoo Atlanta and as the interim director of animal husbandry and conservation at the Turtle Survival Alliance. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences in 1990 before earning a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida in 1995. In 2003, Lock received his Board Certification in American College of Zoological Medicine from the University of Florida.

Lock served in the United States Air Force and later the Air Force Reserves from 1983 to 1989, rising to the rank of E-5. He then worked in veterinary care and veterinary education for the proceeding 16 years, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom, before transitioning to herpetology in 2005. His research has been cited in dozens of academic publications and he serves on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ snake taxon advisory group in addition to other committees.

“We are elated that Dr. Lock has joined the OKC Zoo team. With his unique experience in animal management, veterinary science and field conservation, it’s impossible to imagine anyone better suited for this position,” said Barry Downer, Zoo deputy director/COO. “Many of us have known Brad for years and can speak directly to his exceptional work ethic and problem-solving abilities. I’m excited to see how he and his team will continue to elevate the Zoo’s work.”

Brad has extensive conservation field experience with a variety of species including Campbell’s alligator lizards, eastern indigo snakes, Asian turtles and gopher frogs. He has spent 13 years supporting a holistic conservation program in Latin America to preserve the Guatemalan beaded lizard and its habitat. Alongside wife Debora and son Benjamin, Lock resides in Edmond and is enjoying exploring his new home city and state. He looks forward to furthering the Zoo’s conservation mission, elevating the herpetological animal collection and continuing to educate guests about wildlife and wild places. 

James Pratt joined the Oklahoma City Zoo in 2017 as Safety Supervisor after spending 11 years in oil and natural gas emergency response and safety management. During his six years at Chesapeake Energy Corporation, he led a new team of more than 150 health, safety and emergency response professionals, contractors and consultants. Pratt also has experience in higher education leadership and earned his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma.

“In his relatively short tenure at the Oklahoma City Zoo, James has more than proven his merit, going above and beyond to ensure the OKC Zoo is a safe place for guests, employees and animals,” said Barry Downer, Zoo deputy director/COO. “Beyond physical safety, James also provides guidance on broader issues of organizational risk such as financial management and legal compliance. He is a critical, indispensable part of the team.”

Pratt is a certified dive master, facilitating dive safety inspections and trainings for Zoo staff and others. Additionally, he serves as chief of the Zoo’s Emergency Response Team and coordinates emergency and safety training drills. James is active in homeless and veteran outreach programs. He and his family reside in Edmond.

Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit


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