Media Contact

Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 |

OKC Zoo News Releases


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden was recently awarded a $15,000 grant from Oklahoma Humanities (OH) as part of the America Rescue Plan (ARP) Act that will be used to support the Zoo’s Patricia and Byron J. Gambulos ZooZeum. The only museum of its kind in the country, the ZooZeum, is dedicated to celebrating the OKC Zoo’s 118-year history.

“The Zoo, like many cultural attractions, faced financial hardships during the pandemic and we are grateful for this funding that will support one of our most treasured attractions, the ZooZeum,” said Dwight Lawson, OKC Zoo’s executive director/CEO. “It’s an honor to have the distinction of being the only accredited zoo in the nation with its own museum, the ability to connect our guests to our unique history.”

ARP funding was provided in part by OH and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Grants were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants and will fund general operating expenses at museums, archives, historic sites and other nonprofits across Oklahoma recovering from the pandemic.

Designed into the framework of the Zoo’s landmark bathhouse, a 1935 Works Projects Administration structure, the building was restored, repurposed and renamed as the ZooZeum, and opened to Zoo guests in 2011. Located in the Zoo’s Sanctuary Asia habitat across from the Inasmuch Elephant Pavilion, the ZooZeum was awarded a spot on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Register of National Historic places in 2017 as a place of historical significance. The ZooZeum showcases two main galleries that invite Oklahomans and out-of-state Zoo guests to relive the Zoo’s past while learning about its current animal family, habitats, conservation programs and future plans through enriching exhibits and ever-changing displays. 

The public is encouraged to share their photographs, memorabilia, home videos or special memories of the Zoo with us for the ZooZeum and may do so by contacting the Education Department at  

The Oklahoma City Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at and avoid the entry lines. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC 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. 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 connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit



Search the site