Dean McGee Eye Institute Binocular Borrow Program Brings New Focus to OKC Zoo

For the first time, guests visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden can borrow a pair of binoculars to enhance their visual experience. Presented by Dean McGee Eye Institute, the Binocular Borrow program offers binoculars to guests during their visit to the OKC Zoo for no additional cost. It kicks off Saturday, April 20, for Party for the Planet™–an Earth Day tradition supported by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ accredited zoos and aquariums that inspire millions to help protect our planet, its wildlife and wild places.

Binocular Borrow Program

“We are so grateful for innovative community partners like the Dean McGee Eye Institute,” said Greg Heanue, OKC Zoo chief marketing officer. “In addition to enhancing the OKC Zoo experience, the Binocular Borrow program will connect guests with the multitude of native species that exist around the Zoo.”

To participate, guests will bring a valid photo ID to the Zoo’s guest services office in the entry plaza and complete a quick information form. The photo ID will be securely held by Zoo officials as guests enjoy the beauty of the Zoo during their visit and will be returned when the binoculars are brought back to the office. One valid photo ID is required for each pair of binoculars.

Bird-watching in the Zoo

“When people are able to see something, it creates a strong connection, which encourages more engagement with the world,” said Jim Durbin, Dean McGee Eye Institute executive director of development. “The Binocular Borrow program is a great opportunity to encourage discovery and exploration of nature through a visual experience.”

In addition to providing a closer look at the Zoo’s 338 species and 1,130 individual animals, the Binocular Borrow program also gives Zoo guests the opportunity to observe native bird species like mockingbirds, blue jays, American robins, turkey vultures and cormorants in their natural habitats around the Zoo. The binoculars, Bushnell Falcons, offer powerful 10x magnification and are ideal for outdoor applications.  An InstaFocus lever provides smooth feedback, with enough tension to fine-tune magnification, while a Porro prism and coated lenses provide sharp viewing. 

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