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OKC ZOO GUESTS ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE HALF A CENTURY OF CINDY THE CHIMP

Guests visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden this Saturday, June 2, are invited to celebrate half a century of Cindy the chimpanzee in the Great EscApe outdoor habitat from 10-11 a.m. Cindy, best known for her love of blankets, will be presented with a special picnic-themed animal enrichment activity in honor of her half century of life. Zoo guests are encouraged to join the fun by bringing blankets for Cindy and leaving them at Guest Services in the Entry Plaza. If more blankets are raised than Cindy can use in a reasonable amount of time, the surplus will be donated to a local animal welfare organization. In addition to the animal enrichment, sweet treats will be available for guests along with information about recycling electronic devices such as cell phones and how it reduces the need for coltan mining in natural chimpanzee environments.

While Cindy’s exact birthday is not known, records show she was born in 1968. She came to the OKC Zoo in October 2007 and has spent the last decade inspiring guests and caretakers with her fun, playful attitude. She enjoys interacting with her troop and with guests, especially young children, through the viewing glass. Other members of the OKC Zoo chimpanzee troop are Qadeer, 33; Kito, 31; Mwami, 29; Kirsty, 17; Zoe, 9; Siri, 7; and Ruben, 6. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) reports the median life expectancy for female chimpanzees is 37.4 years.

“Cindy is very special, both to guests and to her caretakers,” Robin Newby, Great EscApe assistant curator, said. “She enjoys blankets, even in the summer months, and is known for always having one with her. I’m glad we get to celebrate this half century milestone.”

Guests with old electronic devices can recycle them at the Zoo’s Guest Services office year-round. By donating old electronics, you can help reduce the direct effects that cellphones have on wildlife. Small electronics frequently contain the substance coltan and 80 percent of the world's known supply is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mining for coltan threatens the habitats of gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi and many other endangered species. All of the electronics donated to the Zoo will be disposed of following strict environmental guidelines by our partners at the ECO-CELL Recycling Program, which will then use the resulting parts to refurbish new phones to be sold in developing countries. Any devices that cannot be resold are recycled sustainably, without the use of local landfills. Not only will this decrease the need to mine for more substances like coltan – but 100 percent of the Zoo's proceeds will also be donated to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, one of the Zoo’s conservation partners.

This weekend, escApe to the Oklahoma City Zoo! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at ZOOfriends.org or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.

-okczoo-

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