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At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Category: Notes from the Field

Notes from the Field: First-Time Volunteer Recounts Bat Survey Experience

Each year, employees of the Oklahoma City Zoo are offered several opportunities to participate in field work and to engage with the Zoo's conservation efforts on the ground level. As a first-time volunteer and full-time desk jockey, I had no clue what to expect when I offered to assist with the spring bat survey at the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Reserve. But I set out on the drive to Stilwell, Oklahoma with an open mind, eager to learn more about those elusive creatures of the... Read More
at Tuesday, May 7, 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: Josh Lucas Reports on Two-Month Tortoise Conservation Journey

OKC Zoo Lead Herpetology Caretaker Josh Lucas shares his most recent conservation field work in Madagascar finding suitable sites for radiated tortoise re-introductions... I just returned from southern Madagascar where I spent the last two months working to develop an effective reintroduction strategy for last year’s confiscated radiated tortoises . It has been one year since over 10,000 critically endangered tortoises were found crammed wall-to-wall in a tiny house in... Read More
at Wednesday, April 10, 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: Josh Lucas Reports on Madagascar Tortoise Conservation Efforts

  I have some exciting updates to share related to ongoing rescue efforts after the radiated tortoise crisis  in Madagascar. I have recently taken on the role of Reintroduction Project Manager within the Turtle Survival Alliance  (TSA), with the purpose of getting thousands of critically endangered tortoises back into the wild. My most recent three-week trip provided the opportunity to do some initial ground surveying of tortoise habitat, check-in on the... Read More
at Wednesday, November 28, 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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