At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

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Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 |

OKC Zoo News Releases


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is offering an early-bird registration rate of $30 (5K) and $25 (Fun Run) until July 31 for the third annual Monarch Madness 5K/Fun Run on Saturday, September 14. Starting Thursday, August 1, race registration will return to its normal rates of $40 (5K) and $30 (Fun Run). More details and a link to register are at

Presented by Bob Moore Subaru, the third annual Monarch Madness 5K/Fun Run on Saturday, September 14, will benefit local monarch butterfly conservation. Monarch butterflies are in peril as their population has declined by more than 80 percent over the last two decades due to habitat loss and pesticide use. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for the event and for the Monarch Festival – also happening Saturday, September 14 at the Zoo. For information about sponsorships, email or call (405) 425-0219.

Instead of circling the Zoo like previous Monarch Madness runs, this year’s 5K course will take runners into and through the OKC Zoo with several surprises along the course! The 5K is an officially timed run that includes a course simulating the epic journey monarchs take from Canada to Mexico with themed stops along the way. The Zoo also encourages runners to come dressed in butterfly costumes and accessories–the crazier the better! The timing of the event coincides with the period of time when monarch butterflies migrate south through Oklahoma to their overwintering grounds in Mexico. All participants receive a t-shirt, timed bib number, a finisher medal, OKC Zoo Poo compost and free general admission to the Zoo that day. The 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the one-mile Fun Run kicks off at 8 a.m. Check-in for both begins at 6 a.m.

The day’s festivities continue with the Monarch Festival from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The goal of the Monarch Festival is to educate Zoo guests about the decline of monarchs and to inspire them to take action to save these iconic species by learning how to attract them to public gardens, neighborhoods or their own backyard. Festival activities are free with Zoo admission. Festival activities will take place in the entry plaza and around the Zoo’s Butterfly Garden, a 20,000 square-foot habitat designed to host monarchs and other pollinators. As the largest, walk-through outdoor butterfly garden in Oklahoma, the garden is a beautiful collection of more than 15,000 plants fashioned to sustain the complete life cycle of butterflies.

Over forty organizations, including the Zoo, have teamed up to form the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative, called Okies for Monarchs. The organization’s goal is to encourage the planting of monarch-friendly plants throughout the state. Oklahoma cities are taking the initiative to plant wildflowers along highways and replace native trees and flowers after major construction projects. As part of this effort, the Zoo recently awarded grants to Oklahoma schools to establish their own monarch gardens and to train teachers on how to incorporate their new gardens into their classes.

Interested in volunteering to help with the Monarch Madness 5K/Fun Run? Volunteers are needed to help in a variety of roles and will receive service hour documentation and two admission tickets to the OKC Zoo for their time. To learn more or to sign up, email At the ZooZeum through September 14, Follow the Monarchs is a traveling art display featuring thousands of paper butterflies mimicking the monarch migration. The exhibit also features butterfly-themed art created by local artists. The ZooZeum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Run so they can fly! 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 or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit


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