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Media Contacts

Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 |
Chase Harvick | (405) 425-0608 |

OKC Zoo News Releases


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and Stonecloud Brewing Company are encouraging turtle lovers to get out of their shells for World Turtle Day on Wednesday, May 23, and enjoy a special brew benefiting the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA). A special batch of Stonecloud’s Turtlehead Stout, appropriately called the “Turtle” Turtlehead Stout, made with caramel, cacao and toasted pecans, will benefit the TSA.

From 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., animal caretakers from the OKC Zoo will be on-hand with various turtle species to answer questions, provide information about the critical role they play in maintaining healthy natural ecosystems and explain what can be done to reverse the severe decrease in turtle populations and habitats. Esca Vita Food Truck will be on-site serving food at the event. Although the taproom and patio at Stonecloud are restricted to individuals 21 years or older, the parking area, where the Zoo will be set up, is open to guests of all ages.

“Turtles are facing unprecedented threats from the illegal pet trade, hunting and habitat loss,” Brett Bartek, OKC Zoo animal caretaker, said. “We are so grateful to have a partner like Stonecloud to help raise awareness about this serious issue in a fun, accessible way, with an audience that might not otherwise be engaged with animal conservation.”

In addition to Turtle Turtlehead Stout, Stonecloud produced a limited edition “Drink Beer, Save Turtles” T-shirt featuring a cartoon tortoise and the TSA logo. Additionally, those who donate $20 to the TSA, purchase one of the Turtlehead Stouts or buy a T-shirt on World Turtle Day will be entered for a chance to win OKC Zoo vouchers, two ZOOfriends family memberships, a private brewery tour, TSA swag and more. Proceeds from the promotion will benefit the TSA. 

The TSA is currently engaged in an unprecedented tortoise rescue effort in Africa. On Tuesday, April 10, 2018 more than 10,000 critically endangered Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) were discovered by local police in a non-descript private residence in Toliara, Madagascar. The floors of virtually every room in the house were covered with tortoises that had no access to food or water. Experts from the TSA and several zoos and aquariums, including the Oklahoma City Zoo, have been dispatched with medical supplies, and are administering medical care for any sick or injured tortoises, as well as providing general animal care for the thousands of animals. TSA has relocated the tortoises to their center in Madagascar and will be providing long-term care for them.

Stonecloud Brewing Company is located at 1st and Classen in Oklahoma City inside the old Sunshine Laundry Building. Open in 2017, the brewery focuses on quality and consistency in their beer while still pushing the boundaries of experimentation. The taproom is open seven days a week. Call (405) 602-3966 or email for more information.

The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was formed in 2001 in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis. OKC Zoo Executive Director, Dr. Dwight Lawson, helped found TSA and serves on its board of directors. Today, the TSA is an action-oriented global partnership, working in turtle diversity hotspots around the world, with a focus on species that are at high-risk of extinction. Widely recognized as a global catalyst for turtle conservation based on its reputation for swift and decisive action, the TSA has made a bold commitment to “zero turtle extinctions in the 21st century.”  With projects or programs in Belize, Colombia, Europe, Madagascar, the United States, and throughout Asia, the TSA is a recognized force for turtle conservation globally.

Visit the Oklahoma City Zoo to learn more about turtles! 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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit


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