At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

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Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 |

OKC Zoo News Releases


Conservation is right up our alley! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) along with zoos across the country, will participate in the national Bowling for Rhinos bowl-a-thon, by hosting a bowling event on Saturday, July 28, at Heritage Lanes in Oklahoma City. For the last 24 years, this unique fundraiser has invited Oklahomans of all ages to help save wild rhinos and their habitats while enjoying the fun of a popular pastime, bowling.

This year, to make the event more challenging and rewarding for bowlers, the OKC Zoo will reward superior bowling skills with unique experiences with the endangered Indian rhinos living at the Zoo.  For each participant who bowls a turkey - the term for bowling three consecutive strikes - the Zoo will reward that bowler with a family pack of admission tickets to the Zoo and a Wild Encounter with an Indian rhino. Wild Encounters are a 30 minute, behind-the-scenes tour into an animal’s habitat led by an expert animal caretaker. Each rhino Wild Encounter enables guests to ask caretakers questions about the rhinos, visit areas not accessible to everyday guests and engage with one of the Zoo’s two Indian rhinos, Niki and Chandra, and hand-feed them a treat! The value of this rhino Wild Encounter prize is $51.00.  And, as an ultimate challenge, any participant who bowl’s a perfect game - a 300 score - will be awarded with a ten-year family membership to the Oklahoma City Zoo!

Bowling for Rhinos provides animal keepers and nature lovers with a global outlet locally to raise funds and awareness for rhino and habitat conservation locally. Funds raised aid in providing safe and secure habitats for rhinos and other wildlife in Asia and Africa. The number of rhino species has dwindled from over 100 to only five species in existence today. Throughout the last five years, over 354 rhinos have been killed for their horns in South Africa alone; that is a rate of one rhino poached about every 10 hours. Three of the five remaining species of rhinos are considered critically endangered, but there is still time to make a change for rhinos everywhere by participating in Bowling for Rhinos.

The success of this national bowl-a-thon continues to grow with 80 AAZK chapters participating each year in the United States and Canada to support Bowling for Rhinos. Since 1990, more than $7 million has been raised with all proceeds directly benefiting rhino conservation. The OKC Zoo’s AAZK chapter has successfully raised $333,052 through its fundraising efforts since 1990, making it one of the largest contributors to Bowling for Rhinos. To further its rhino conservation efforts, the OKC Zoo selected the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) as one of its two major conservation initiative partners for 2018. Funds raised from the OKC Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation program, a grassroots campaign that encourages Zoo guests to donate spare change from their purchases, has enabled the OKC Zoo to support a variety of local and global conservation programs, including IRF. IRF focuses its efforts on protecting vulnerable Indian rhinos and critically endangered black, Javan and Sumatran rhinos. These efforts include funding and training anti-poaching teams and translocating rhinos from overcrowded, protected areas to new protected areas, so that the population can grow. Guests of all ages are invited to join the fun on Saturday, July 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Heritage Lanes near northwest 122nd and north Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City.

For those interested in bowling and/or supporting the event, the ticket options include:

Rhino Scout - $25 per person for non-bowlers (includes food, a T-shirt and raffle ticket)

Rhino Hero- $35 per person (includes shoe rental, three games of bowling, food, a T-shirt and raffle tickets)

Family and Friends Package - $200 per family (includes shoe rentals, three games of bowling, food, a T-shirts and raffle tickets for up to 6 individuals)

To register for Bowling for Rhinos, visit or call (405) 424-3344. If you do not wish to bowl but would like to sponsor a team or make donations, visit or mail a check to “AAZK Bowling for Rhinos,” 2101 NE 50th, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111. For more information about Bowling for Rhinos and rhino conservation, please visit             

There’s more! Beginning now through July 28, participants can enter-to-win a closet makeover from The Container Store. One lucky winner will be the recipient of a $500 elfaÒ closet makeover, which includes installation and delivery from The Container Store (total value, $705). Tickets for this raffle will be available for purchase online – $20 for one chance to win and $100 for six chances to win. All funds will support rhino conservation. Join us for The Container Store’s Oklahoma City opening at N. Penn Ave. at Penn Square on Saturday, September 15, and Sunday, September 16. The Container Store is proud to donate 10% of Grand Opening Weekend sales from their new store to ZOOfriends in support of the OKC Zoo.

Got some spare time? Show your passion for conservation with just the roll of bowling ball! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Oklahoma City Zoo is an Adventure Road partner and a member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District. The Zoo proudly holds accreditations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the American Association of Museums. Guests are welcome daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with exhibit buildings closing at 4:45 p.m. Stay connected to the world of wild! Find the Zoo on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and visit Our Stories. To learn more, call (405) 424-3344 or visit


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