On Thursday, May 31, Bob Moore Subaru and the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden unveiled the new educational outreach program vehicle, known as a ZOObaru, which will bring the message of animal conservation to rural and underserved communities across Oklahoma. Previously known as ZooMobiles, the new ZOObarus are replacing 12-year-old vehicles with over 100,000 miles.
Transported by ZOObaru, animal ambassadors are essential to building wildlife conservation appreciation in OKC Zoo’s education programs. The program’s animal collection is distinct from the large collection of animals at the OKC Zoo, which are not used in programs. A variety of animals appear as educational animal ambassadors: small to medium mammals, birds, snakes, geckos, tortoises, frogs and more. In addition to outreach presentations, animal ambassadors are presented at Zoo camps and overnight group programs, educational programs at the Zoo and birthday parties.
The Oklahoma Zoological Society, also known as ZOOfriends, raises funds through their ZOOfund for Kids Scholarship to support educational outreach activities supported by ZOObaru. In 2017, ZOOfriends awarded $87,000 to schools and groups throughout the state. The OKC Zoo ZooMobiles, now known as ZOObarus, have travelled 17,610 miles, conducted 317 visits in 61 counties and helped to educate 11,254 Oklahomans in every corner of the state. Since 2014, 68,387 people have benefited from programs supported by ZooMobiles.
Watch the unveiling: