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At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Media Contact

Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 | crennels@okczoo.org
 


OKC Zoo News Releases

WINTER HAPPENINGS AT THE OKC ZOO

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1 – THURSDAY, APRIL 30: GORILLAS ON THE LINE CELLPHONE CHALLENGE
When gorillas are on the line, it’s up to us to answer the call! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is looking to the community-at-large to help save gorillas by donating old or used cellphones to the Zoo for recycling as part of Gorillas on the Line from Saturday, February 1 through Thursday, April 30. The Zoo is home to 10 western lowland gorillas, five males and five females, ranging in age from 34-year-old Emily to 19-month-old Finyezi. The species is critically endangered with only about 350,000 individuals remaining in the wild.

Small electronics like cellphones frequently contain a substance called coltan and 80 percent of the world's supply is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an area also home to many gorillas. Mining for coltan threatens the habitats of gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi and other endangered species. When individuals donate used phones or other electronics, the coltan from those devices is re-used and reduces the need to mine for the compound in gorilla habitats.

Schools, organizations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to collect as many cellphones and electronics as they can in support of gorilla conservation. Last year, over 260,000 people were engaged in the campaign, collecting 12,486 devices that were recycled and raising $6,055 for gorilla conservation. For 2020, Gorillas on the Line hopes to collect 20,000 cell phones for recycling and engage 200,000 children and other community members in gorilla conservation action. Any kind of cellphone will be accepted – even the big, heavy ones from years ago that wouldn’t come close to fitting in your pocket now. Acceptable small electronics include: iPods, iPads, tablets, MP3 players and handheld gaming systems. These items can be dropped off for recycling in the Zoo’s Guest Services office in the entry plaza.

An added incentive: those who bring an old cellphone or small electronic device to donate to “Gorillas on the Line” will receive two Zoo general admission passes valid through April 30, 2021. Guests are welcome to donate additional devices, but will only receive two Zoo passes as a thank you for helping save gorillas.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2: CONNECT WITH WILDLIFE CHALLENGEHere’s a wild idea–disconnect from your cell and reconnect with nature at the Oklahoma City Zoo! On Sunday, February 2, in exchange for free general admission, the Zoo is challenging guests to unplug from their mobile phones during the duration of their visit. Guests who feel up to the “Connect with Wildlife Challenge” can securely check-in their cellphones at the Zoo’s Guest Services office (located in the entry plaza) before exploring the park.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2 AT 10 AM: OKC ZOO HOSTS GROUNDHOG DAY EVENT

With help from the OKC Zoo’s weather-aware bears, you won’t need to seek this year’s Groundhog Day prediction elsewhere! Sponsored by Bob Moore Subaru, this annual event includes a themed enrichment activity for the bears to engage with as they put their fur-casting skills to the test. Because the Zoo does not have groundhogs in its collection, the bears have become our official Groundhog Day ambassadors. Activities are scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. at the Big Rivers building in the Zoo's Oklahoma Trails and are free with admission. Guests will enjoy Shipley’s Donuts and coffee while supplies last as they take part in this wild weather tradition.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 FROM 6 PM TO 10 PM: ZOOFRIENDS’ WINE IN THE WILD AT THE OKC ZOO PRESENTED BY EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT INTERNATIONAL & BANCFIRST

Wine in the Wild is back! Sample wine from local and national wineries while enjoying the Oklahoma City Zoo’s beautiful Sanctuary Asia. The wine tasting experience will also feature live music, light hors d'oeuvres, Zookeeper talks and a commemorative gift. Plus, view and purchase original paintings from the Zoo’s Art Gone Wild program–art by animals for animals. A VIP element will be available prior to general admission that includes a food and wine tasting experience guided by a local wine expert. Must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets are $65/person for ZOOfriends members, $75/person for non-members. VIP tickets are $115/person for ZOOfriends members, $125/person for non-members. Valet parking will be available for $15. To learn more, click here or call (405) 425-0641.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 AT 11 AM: OKC ZOO HOSTS GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT TOUR

Flock to the OKC Zoo to help wild birds. The Zoo is hosting a bird tour as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, a global-citizen science project that asks people to count birds to create a real-time look at wild populations. Participation is easy to do, fun for families and individuals–all ages welcome. Meet in the Zoo’s entry plaza to join the tour, led by Wildlife Diversity Biologist, Mark Howery, from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count at gbbc.birdcount.org.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 FROM 6 PM TO 8 PM: ROMANCING THE ZOO

Romance is in the air… and it’s in their genes! Come to the Zoo to learn how we save endangered species using genetics mixed with a little bit of love. Guests will have a chance to extract their own DNA for a romantic keepsake. The evening event includes a guided tour of the Zoo’s most popular couples plus a behind the scenes exclusive with our Galapagos tortoises. Age 18+ only. This is an alcohol-free event. $30/person ZOOfriends members $35/person for non-members. Click here to register!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – TUESDAY, MARCH 31: PEPSI VENDING MACHINE ART CONTEST

The OKC Zoo is calling on Oklahoma’s talented students (K-12) to be creative conservationists! The popularity of the Oklahoma City Zoo’s annual contest continues to raise awareness for issues facing wildlife and wild places! Contest participants are eligible to win wild prizes and the chance to have their original art designed on a vending machine at the Zoo. Additional information about the contest theme,  guidelines and entry forms will be available soon at okczoo.org. All submissions must be postmarked by March 31, 2020. Participation is free. For more information, contact Candice Rennels at (405) 425-0298 or crennels@okczoo.org.

FEBRUARY: OKC ZOO’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS

For additional information about these and other programs, call Education at (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org.

SATURDAY, JAN. 25: CUB CLUB - CHARMING CHINCHILLAS [SOLD OUT]

Bring your little cub to experience the OKC Zoo’s Cub Club programs! These monthly classes are geared to introduce youngsters, 2-5 years of age, to the natural world around them. Fall in love with fuzzy chinchillas in January’s Cub Club as we explore their charming lives through activities, story time, and crafts. Cub Clubs are held from 10-11 a.m. Price per child/adult pair: $12 for ZOOfriends members and $15 for non-members. To learn more, click here.

GIRL SCOUTS AND SCOUTS BSA PROGRAMS

The OKC Zoo offers monthly opportunities for Scouts BSA members and Girl Scouts to learn about wildlife and wild places while achieving badges and meeting program requirements, electives. To learn more about what’s happening this winter and beyond, click here.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 AND FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7:  HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS – AROUND THE WORLD, EUROPE

Enjoy experiences beyond the four walls of a traditional classroom with the OKC Zoo’s homeschool programs. Calling all explorers! Discover animals from around the world with animal encounters, zoo exhibit tours, and hands on activities. This Spring on our year-long Around the World series, meet the animals who call Europe home! Enroll today for Thursday, February 6 from 1-2:30 p.m. or Friday, February 7 from 1-2:30 p.m. or 3-4:30 p.m. Cost per student:  $10 for ZOOfriends members, $12 for non-members. For additional information or to register, click here.

FRIDAYS, FEBRUARY 7, FEBRUARY 21 & FEBRUARY 28 FROM 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM: PROWLERS: AN AFTER-HOURS FAMILY EVENT

Fall in love with the Oklahoma City Zoo in a totally new way when you take a night hike with your family at the Zoo! From becoming a frogsicle to digging a den, animals are excellent at surviving the blustery winter months. Grab some hot cocoa and explore the Zoo after dark with a guided tour and fun activities to learn all about cold-weather animal adaptations. Ages: 4 and up. Cost: $12/ for ZOOfriends members, $15/person for non-members. For additional information about this program or to register, click here.

FEBRUARY 12, FEBRUARY 20 & FEBRUARY 29 FROM 10 AM TO 11 AM: CUB CLUB – FERRET FRENZY

Bring your little cub to experience the OKC Zoo’s Cub Club programs! These monthly classes are geared to introduce youngsters, 2-5 years of age, to the natural world around them. Join in the frenzy to learn all about ferrets through activities, story time, crafts, and an interaction with a ferret ambassador. Cub Clubs are held from 10-11 a.m. Price per child/adult pair: $12 for ZOOfriends members and $15 for non-members. To learn more, click here.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 AND MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17:  SCHOOL’S OUT DAY CAMP

The Oklahoma City Zoo’s School’s Out Day Camps provide an exciting and unique environment to interest children ages 4–11. Snacks are provided, but campers must bring their lunch. Advanced registration and payment required. Camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Drop-off at the Zoo’s Education Center is from 8–8:30 a.m. Cost per child, per day is $40 for ZOOfriends members and $45 non-members. To register or learn more, click here.

ONGOING: EYE SPY SAFARI FOR KIDS PRESENTED BY DEAN MCGEE EYE INSTITUTE
What will you spy with your little eye? Presented by Dean McGee Eye Institute, Eye Spy Safari for Kids is a free, interactive activity for children ages 3-11 to experience while exploring the OKC Zoo. Eye Spy Safari cards are available at the Zoo’s Guest Services and ZOOfriends’ offices. Each child who completes their “Eye Spy” scratch-off card will receive a prize. Prizes are available at the Safari Shop located in the entry plaza. Participation is free with Zoo admission.

ONGOING: BINOCULAR BORROW PROGRAM PRESENTED BY DEAN MCGEE EYE INSTITUTE
The Binocular Borrow program presented by Dean McGee Eye Institute provides OKC Zoo guests with the opportunity to borrow a pair of branded binoculars during their visit at no cost. To participate, guests will bring a valid photo ID to the Zoo’s guest services office in the entry plaza and complete a quick information form. The photo ID will be securely held by Zoo officials as guests enjoy the beauty of the Zoo during their visit and will be returned when the binoculars are brought back to the office. One valid photo ID is required for each pair of binoculars. Participation is free with Zoo admission.

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS
The Oklahoma City Zoo provides you with an exclusive peek at what happens behind the Zoo scene with Wild Encounters! Wild Encounters are unique experiences that let you see some of your favorite Zoo animals in up-close ways like never before. Follow our expert animal keepers backstage to learn more about the animal’s unique personalities, stories. Wild Encounters are available daily and each experience comes with a souvenir lanyard! Wild Encounters are also a great gift idea for the holidays. Participants must be 6 years of age or older. Prices range from $61 to $79 per person depending on the encounter. ZOOfriends’ members receive $11 discount per encounter. Contact Guest Services at (405) 425-0262 for reservations.

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’s “ASK A Keeper”

Discover a new way to learn about the Oklahoma City Zoo’s animal family from the experts who care for them. OKC Zoo offers free, daily opportunities for guests to engage with its animal keepers called “Ask A Keeper” and ask questions about the Zoo’s wildlife and commitment to conservation. The “Ask A Keeper” schedule includes the following animal areas:

         10 a.m.: Wallaby (Children’s Zoo)

         10:30 a.m.: Galapagos tortoise (Island Life)

         11:30 a.m.: Stingray Bay

         1:30 p.m.: Great Escape

         2 p.m.: Asian Elephant Presentation (Sanctuary Asia, elephant pavilion)

         2:30 p.m.: Red panda (Sanctuary Asia)

         3 p.m.: Southern cassowary (Sanctuary Asia)

Discover what you love about the Zoo! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Oklahoma City 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. Effective Saturday, February 1, regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 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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