Category: Animal enrichment
Friday, January 10, 2020
Late last year, two clouded leopard cubs, eight-month-old male, J.D., and nine-month-old female, Rukai, joined the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden animal family . As soon as the carnivore care team received confirmation that the Zoo would become the duo’s new home, preparations for their arrival began at the Cat Forest habitat.
Native to Nepal and Bangladesh, clouded leopards are known as one of the best climbers in the felid family. The species’ flexible ankle joints,...
at Friday, January 10, 2020
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Enrichment is “the action of improving or enhancing the quality of something”. Animal caretakers at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden use enrichment to enhance the quality of an animal’s habitat to ensure high animal welfare. Many of our guests have seen Zoo caretakers add toys, feeders, ice treats or scents to encourage our animals’ natural abilities and ensure they have different opportunities throughout the day.
However, various animals have...
at Thursday, June 13, 2019
Friday, May 17, 2019
Finyezi, born June 15, 2018, is nearing his first birthday – a year that has been complete with many milestones met!
Shortly after Fin’s birth in June 2018, it was observed that his mother, Njole, was not providing maternal care for him. Following this observation, his caretaker’s made the decision to hand raise him behind-the-scenes - a rewarding job that ‘took a village’.
Because gorillas are very social and complex animals, it was important for...
at Friday, May 17, 2019
Friday, November 16, 2018
The Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS) recently dedicated a new animal enrichment/training wall at Sanctuary Asia to the memory of longtime Oklahoma City Zoo fan Martha K. Denham. Though she passed away in 2015, her legacy continues to benefit the Zoo and the million plus guests who visit annually. More than $26,000 was raised for the project in Martha’s honor, with substantial contributions from Martha’s children: Matt Denham, Elizabeth Laurent and Ann White.
at Friday, November 16, 2018
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Oklahomans know how intense Sooner State summers can be, and with temperatures expected to hit the dreaded triple digit territory this week, it’s a good time to explore how animals (and guests) stay cool at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. Like people, animals are susceptible to heat-related ailments and the caretakers at the OKC Zoo offer a multitude of ways to help various species remain comfortable during hot weather. In addition to monitoring the animals in their care...
at Thursday, July 19, 2018
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
The OKC Zoo is proud to welcome white-nosed coatis BB-8 and Lando to its animal family!
BB-8 and Lando were born at Idaho’s Zoo Boise on May 4, 2017. This date, May the fourth, marks an unofficial, grassroots Star Wars holiday due to its similarity to the film franchise’s often-used mantra “May the Force be with you”. This inspired Zoo Boise caretakers to name the coati brothers after characters from the iconic movies.
The OKC Zoo is celebrating Star Wars...
at Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Because sea lions spend the majority of their day swimming, our team of marine mammal caretakers ensure that the water temperature remains between 70 and 75 degrees throughout the colder months. While the Zoo's sea lions are always provided with access inside, their natural layer of blubber also works to maintain a comfortable body temperature when seasons change. Throughout the winter months, our animals continue to voluntarily participate in training...
at Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Enrichment is a word many people hear at the OKC Zoo and it can be a bit confusing. Simply put, enrichment is the enhancement of the environment to provide animals with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural species appropriate behavior. It’s a major way staff at the Zoo, and zoos all over the world, engage with animals on a daily basis and enrich their lives. The Zoo’s great apes, including chimpanzees, Western lowland gorillas and Sumatran orangutans, are very smart...
at Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
A common concern among guests this time of year is, “What happens to the animals during cold or icy weather and how do they spend their time indoors?”
Whether it’s cold or stormy, animals at the Oklahoma City Zoo stay warm, cozy and safe when inclement weather strikes. All species have designated weather parameters that dictate when they need to stay inside. Those are one of the only times animals may be secured in their holding quarters. Modern animal care standards in...
at Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Here at the Zoo, we’re wild about animal enrichment!
Recently, a special tree was created for the Zoo’s squirrel monkey family in an effort to enhance their habitat and provide them with a unique, but realistic experience.
The OKC Zoo’s squirrel monkey family consists of sisters Bobby and Katrina, and their three brothers, Floyd, Felix and Hugo.
The new tree will offer several enrichment options – serving as a climbing structure, a...
at Monday, November 13, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
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,...
at Monday, August 7, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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...
at Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Imagine how fun and enriching our lives would be if we had our own personal trainer, chef and concierge! Yet only a few fortunate people have these luxuries. The animals at the OKC Zoo, however, although not considered “wealthy” in human terms, are most definitely well cared for, and I have the privilege of being their own behavioral training and enrichment curator.
Say That Again?
Enrichment--it’s kind of a funny word. We use it often when referring to...
at Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
If your children find it hard to like and eat nutritious leafy greens, just tell them to act like a fish! The Zoo’s aquarium fish actually love leafy greens. In fact, romaine lettuce is their food of choice. They also enjoy bok choy, collards and kale. Most of the leafy greens are delivered to the Aquarium by the Zoo’s commissary team. But to encourage this passion for plants, the aquarium team custom built a small aquaponics system so the Zoo could grow some of its own leafy...
at Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Bamboo, the Asian elephant, is the oldest of our herd at 49 years old. That’s pretty good considering the median lifespan of an Asian elephant is 47 years! Bamboo is the grandma of our herd and with that comes some extra care and considerations. All of the elephants begin their day with a bath in which the keepers check their entire body from trunk to tail, and Bamboo is no exception. This is the time where she gets to spend one-on-one time with her keepers...
at Sunday, November 27, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Elephants are magnificent creatures and have many facets. One of those facets is their intelligence level. Elephants are one of the smartest animals on the planet, which enables us to create a respectable relationship with them. As trainers, we are given the opportunity to observe their intelligence on a daily basis through volunteer-type training where they have the freedom to choose to participate. This training enables us, as their caretakers, to mentally and physically stimulate them. Every...
at Saturday, November 12, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Giraffes, gorillas, sea lions, stingrays, red river hogs, bears, tigers and more! The Zoo’s Art Gone Wild animal art show features original art pieces painted by a variety of animal ambassadors during voluntary enrichment sessions that address an animal's social, psychological and physical needs.
Have you ever wondered what techniques our featured animal artists use to get artsy at the Zoo? Here at the wildest place in Oklahoma City, our animals create artwork with a wild style to...
at Thursday, September 29, 2016