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At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Category: Animal Care

Living the Bachelor Life - Understanding Gorilla Social Structure

An important social arrangement for gorillas is the bachelor group. A typical family has only one mature male and many females with offspring, so there will be quite a few males who find themselves without any lady friends. These males can either live a solitary life or hang out with other single males. In the wild, bachelor groups are usually loose associations, however, sometimes males will bond and form more permanent friendships. In zoos, bachelor groups are planned out well in advance.... Read More
at Tuesday, April 30, 2019
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Pygmy Hippo Franny Undergoes Exam

On Wednesday, June 27, Oklahoma City Zoo veterinary staff conducted a full exam of female pygmy hippopotamus Francesca, 26, after caretakers observed decreased appetite, lethargy and signs of severe abdominal pain. During the exam, they discovered Franny had dental disease with possible bacterial infection and three teeth were removed. Her remaining teeth are significantly worn which is normal for her age. She was also treated for colic (severe intestinal inflammation) and IV fluids,... Read More
at Wednesday, June 27, 2018
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Where are the Zoo's bachelor gorillas?

UPDATE (4/9/18): Additional X-ray imagery from Friday, April 6 showed continued healing and improvement in Bo’s leg. Depending on the weather and day, Bo has been with one of the other “bachelor” gorillas, George or Bakari, in the Great EscApe outdoor habitat area. They rotate so each gets time outside throughout the week and to spend time with Bo. Caretakers report that Bo is also going out for longer periods of time and tolerating that well. The vet team released him... Read More
at Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Innovating for OKC Zoo's Aging Animals

Compared to animals in the wild, those in human care tend to live significantly longer lives, sometimes doubling life expectancy. This presents unique healthcare challenges to Zoo veterinary staff and requires medical innovations to ensure quality of life is maintained for senior animals. Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, director of veterinary services, shared some of the innovative technologies and treatments being implemented at the OKC Zoo to make sure animals live long, happy, healthy... Read More
at Monday, December 18, 2017
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The Nur"sss"ery

If you’ve found yourself walking through the Zoo’s Herpetarium building within the last year you might’ve noticed that one of your favorite scaley creatures has found a new home. The reticulated python has moved into a bigger, better and more exciting habitat. The reptile and amphibian department has renovated her old slithering grounds into a baby nursery.  There, guests can watch as young reptiles and amphibians grow into their own skin.  In the past year,... Read More
at Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Everyone Needs Good Footing

What exactly is a farrier? Are they a shoemaker, veterinarian or blacksmith? Well, they’re all three, yet also, none of the above! A farrier is considered a specialist in equine foot care, similar to how a podiatrist is a specialist in human foot care. Farriers use a wide range of technical skills and knowledge in order to care for the hooves of horses. These animal podiatrists primarily trim hooves, create custom horseshoes and also care for any disease or lameness of... Read More
at Thursday, November 9, 2017
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Cubproofing - Preparing for the Next Milestone!

The Zoo’s Tiger Cub Cam has brought our tiger family into homes all over the world, and now, we are proud to announce an upcoming milestone for Lola’s four growing cubs - venturing outside for the very first time!  Since its launch on August 10, the Tiger Cub Cam has been viewed over 142,000 times! For our team, the positive responses from those who’ve tuned in have been incredibly rewarding to see. Amur tiger, Zoya’s, successful integration with our three... Read More
at Tuesday, September 5, 2017
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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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Ketara's Reach for New Heights

In the past nine months, several milestones have come and went for our youngest giraffe, Ketara! His caretakers has watched him grow from 6-feet tall and around 150 pounds, to over 7-feet tall and nearly 550 pounds!  Whether he’s running and playing with his big sister, Julu, or learning how to socialize with our older giraffes and ostrich, Sadie, every moment with Ketara has brought our team joy and pride. Most recently, Ketara has begun to eat solid food! This particular... Read More
at Thursday, August 3, 2017
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Zookeeper Highlight: Pace Frank

We’ve enjoyed sharing zookeeper highlights all week-long in honor of National #ZookeeperWeek – taking place July 16 through July 22! Keeper Pace is the last (but not least) zookeeper highlight of the week! Pace cares for the Zoo’s great apes. How long have you worked at the Zoo? I started working at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 2011 in the hoofstock department. I loved working with the Red river hogs and the okapi. When I first moved to Oklahoma City, I... Read More
at Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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Zookeeper Highlight: Brian Frank

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 Brank Frank! Brian Frank is the lead zookeeper of hoofstock at the OKC Zoo.  How long have you... Read More
at Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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Vet Technician Highlight: Julia Jones

The Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden is celebrating National Zookeeper Week – taking place from July 16 through July 22! While this week is geared toward zookeepers in particular, it's also important to note that the Zoo's veterinary staff plays a vital role in caring for the animals as well. Today, we're highlighting Julia Jones, a veterinary technician (animal nurse) who collaborates with our team of zookeepers every day to ensure that each animal... Read More
at Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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Providing Innovative Health Care: Necessity is the Mother of Invention!

Our Great Ape staff at the OKC Zoo has daily opportunities, as well as some challenges, due to working with very large and very smart animals. Gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees are complex thinkers. Therefore, thinking “outside the box” when it comes to providing excellent health care and enrichment is critically important. Training is a huge part of our daily routine. Most behaviors we train animals to display center around their health care needs. So through training, the apes... Read More
at Tuesday, May 9, 2017
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Guest Perspective: Our Elephant Wild Encounter was a Dream Come True!

The Oklahoma City Zoo is a place that my family and I have always enjoyed. My first trip to the Zoo was in 1998 when I was about six months old and I have been visiting ever since. The Zoo recently added something new called Wild Encounters! I was very intrigued by this. After researching, I found that guests get behind-the-scenes interactions with some of the amazing animals that call the Zoo their home. I was so excited to see what this was all about, so I signed up my 11-year-old sister,... Read More
at Wednesday, May 3, 2017
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Beloved Puma Passes Away

Beloved Puma Passes Away Rollie, the Zoo’s beloved, 14-year-old, male puma (or cougar) died unexpectedly Tuesday morning, April 11, in his Oklahoma Trails habitat. His morning routine seemed normal. His caretakers had just delivered his morning diet. He began eating and suddenly had a seizure. The caretakers immediately contacted the vet care team which rushed to the habitat but, unfortunately, Rollie had already passed away. He was off public view at the time. Although Rollie had... Read More
at Tuesday, April 11, 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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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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