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At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Category: Notes from the Field

Notes from the Field: Jennifer D'Agostino Embarks on Mission to Save Painted Dogs

Starting in 2017, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden partnered with the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) to support its efforts to conserve the endangered African painted dog. Dr. Greg Rasmussen, PDRT founder and executive director, has worked for almost two decades protecting and studying the species, with populations totaling fewer than 7,000 in the wild. An essential part of the Zoo’s ongoing commitment to the PDRT includes sending staff members to Zimbabwe annually to... Read More
at Thursday, December 5, 2019
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Notes from the Field: Sabrina Heise Shares Reflections from Zimbabwe

Starting in 2017, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden partnered with the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) to support its efforts to conserve the endangered African painted dog. Dr. Greg Rasmussen, PDRT founder and executive director, has worked for almost two decades protecting and studying the species, with populations totaling fewer than 7,000 in the wild. An essential part of the Zoo’s ongoing commitment to the PDRT includes sending staff members to Zimbabwe annually to... Read More
at Tuesday, December 3, 2019
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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: Katie Van Singel Recounts Rhino Conservation Journey to Indonesia

Katie Van Singel, OKC Zoo pachyderm caretaker, recently returned from a conservation journey to Indonesia. These are her notes from the field: I am a primary caretaker for the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden's three Indian rhinos Arun, Niki, and Shanti. I never imagined that I would get the chance to go and see native habitat for any of the five rhino species in the world, but this July, my coworker Amy Mathews and I went on the trip of a lifetime. Amy and I... Read More
at Wednesday, September 11, 2019
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Notes from the Field: Amy Mathews Recounts Rhino Conservation Journey to Indonesia

Amy Mathews, OKC Zoo lead elephant caretaker, recently returned from a conservation journey to Indonesia. These are her notes from the field: In July, fellow pachyderm caretaker Katie Van Singel and I traveled to Indonesia to learn more about the various rhino conservation initiatives sponsored by one of the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s legacy conservation partners, the International Rhino Foundation . While abroad, Katie and I were fortunate enough to meet with... Read More
at Wednesday, September 4, 2019
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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: 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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