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


OKC Zoo News Releases

OKC ZOO HOSTS FUNDRAISERS, PROMOTES SOCIAL CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF ASIAN ELEPHANT AWARENESS MONTH

In honor of August being Asian Elephant Awareness Month, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is partnering with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)’s SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program for Asian elephants and international elephant conservation partners to raise awareness about the plight of Asian elephants to inspire people around the world to get involved in elephant conservation through a social media campaign, #AsianElephantAwarenessMonth. Since 2019, Asian Elephant Awareness Month has inspired over 40 million wildlife fans to show their love for Asian elephants through engaging social media campaigns and the OKC Zoo is asking fans to keep the engagement going by posting photos and messages on social media throughout August with #AsianElephantAwarenessMonth. During this momentous month, the OKC Zoo is also hosting community fundraisers and World Elephant Day activities on Friday, August 12, to further connect elephant enthusiasts to the importance of protecting these beloved animals and their habitat.

The OKC Zoo is committed to the conservation of Asian elephants and their habitat through its worldwide partnerships. Asian elephants are an endangered species, at risk of extinction because of human-elephant conflict as a result of habitat loss and poaching for ivory tusks, skin and meat. In the wild, Asian elephant populations are 10 times lower than those of African elephants with an estimated 40,000-50,000 individuals remaining worldwide. The 13 nations that make up the natural habitat of Asian elephants have the densest human population on the planet and, as a result, vital habitat for elephants has been reduced by over 90% in 40 years. Furthermore, Asian elephants are much more susceptible than African elephants to elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV), a fast-moving elephant herpes virus that affects elephants in the wild and in human care with a 60% fatality rate.

Join the OKC Zoo’s month-long efforts to bring attention to the importance of protecting and conserving Asian elephants and their habitat by supporting the following happenings.  

#AsianElephantAwarenessMonth Social Media Campaign / August 1 through 31

Share your love, likes and enthusiasm for Asian elephants with #AsianElephantAwarenessMonth. This engaging campaign is an ideal opportunity for animal lovers of all ages to show their support for Asian elephants on social media from the comfort of their own home. OKC Zoo fans are encouraged to post their favorite pictures of the Zoo’s Asian elephant herd along with messages about why they love these animals in their captions while including #AsianElephantAwarenessMonth, tag @okczoo. Photos and messages will be featured on the Zoo’s Facebook page throughout the month.

Asian Elephant Awareness Month Local Fundraising Events

  • Cookies for Conservation with Eileen’s Colossal Cookies/August 1 through 31: The OKC Zoo is partnering with Eileen’s Colossal Cookies for a great cause, elephant conservation. Now through Wednesday, August 31, for every frosted elephant cookie purchased from Eileen’s, $.50 per cookie will be donated to the OKC Zoo in support of Asian elephant conservation. Cookies will be available to purchase individually or trays of 6 various frosted cookies including elephant designs. Customers that purchase a tray of 6 will be entered to win an OKC Zoo Asian elephant Wild Encounter experience good for four people plus Zoo admission, with one drawing at each of the two participating Eileen’s locations, Edmond (1333 N Santa Fe, Edmond) and Nichols Hills (7700 N. May Ave, OKC).

  • Chicken N Pickle Green Cup Campaign Spotlight, OKC Zoo/August 1-15: Think green for elephants! When you purchase a drink and upgrade to a green cup at the Oklahoma City Chicken N Pickle location (8400 N Oklahoma Ave), now through Monday, August 15, $1 from each cup will benefit Asian elephant conservation.

  • OKC Zoo’s Evening for Elephants at Chicken N Pickle/Friday, August 12 from 5 to 7 p.m.: Mark your calendars for this wild event in celebration of Asian elephants! The OKC Zoo and Chicken N Pickle (8400 N Oklahoma Ave) are thrilled to host “Evening for Elephants,” a fundraising event in support of elephant conservation, on Friday, August 12, from 5 to 7 p.m.  Gather your family and friends for a big evening of delicious food, refreshing beverages, fun and games and Chicken N Pickle will donate 10% of food and beverage sales from the event to support Asian elephant EEHV, elephant herpes virus, treatment and monitoring. Participants can meet members of the OKC Zoo’s elephant and rhino team, try their hand at playing a game of giant yard pong for a $5 donation per person to elephant conservation, purchase original elephant paintings and enter for a chance to win an ELEfantastic prize. Find additional details on the Zoo’s Facebook.

 

World Elephant Day presented by Bob Moore Subaru / Thursday, August 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

World Elephant Day is Friday, August 12 and the Oklahoma City Zoo invites you to be part of this global occasion to help elephants. Presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru, this is a special day dedicated to raising attention and awareness to the issues facing Asian elephants through event activities and #AsianElephantAwarenessMonth social media campaign. OKC Zoo guests will be able to participate in a variety of event activities happening at the Zoo’s elephant habitat at Sanctuary Asia from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. including interactive activities for kids with prizes, story time, photo opportunities presented by Bob Moore Subaru, a free elephant presentation at 2 p.m., Facebook live chats and more. The OKC Zoo cares for a multi-generational herd of eight Asian elephants ranging in ages from six-months-old to 55 years old. All World Elephant Day events are free with Zoo admission.

OKC Zoo’s Commitment to Asian Elephant Conservation

Through its ongoing conservation initiatives, the OKC Zoo is committed to educating wildlife fans about the plight of Asian elephants and conserving their wild counterparts. In 2020, the Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation funds supported EEHV vaccine development. Additionally, these funds contributed to the development of a PCR laboratory for a nature conservancy located in Nepal, home to more than 200 elephants. The Zoo has supported the Northern Rangelands Trust since 2009, which protects elephants and other native species in Kenya, the Zoo partnered with the Rainforest Trust to purchase and preserve 13,000 acres of forest in central Sumatra and 18,000 acres of forest in Borneo, both of which are natural habitats for Asian elephants. The Zoo also backed a number of other elephant conservation projects, including the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Rakhine Yoma Elephant Range Project in Myanmar and International Elephant Foundation’s conservation efforts in Sumatra. These projects support boots-on-the-ground teams that work to protect forests, prevent poaching and habitat encroachment, as well as mitigate human-elephant conflict. In the last decade, the Zoo has contributed more than $400,000 to elephant-related conservation.

As an accredited member of the AZA, OKC Zoo proudly participants in the AZA’s Species Survival Plan®(SSP) for Asian Elephants, a cooperative breeding and management program responsible for maintaining a genetically healthy population of Asian elephants in AZA-accredited zoos. Through the Zoo’s involvement with this SSP, a breeding recommendation was made for Asha, 27, and Rex, 53, who are parents to young calf, Rama, who was born on January 20, 2022. Rama is the fourth Asian elephant to be born at the Zoo and the fourth offspring for Asha. OKC Zoo’s Asian elephant herd also includes: Kandula, 20; Bamboo, 54; Chandra, 26; Achara, 7; and Kairavi, 3.

Asian Elephant Awareness Month is a collaborative effort among AZA members and experts from around the world to raise awareness for AZA SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction while implementing strategic conservation education, public awareness and engagement activities. AZA SAFE programs also measure conservation progress and build on established recovery plans with the goal of solving problems facing vulnerable and endangered species, including Asian elephants. In 2020, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums reported taking part in a variety of field conservation projects, investing nearly $25 million to help save animals from extinction. $270,000 was invested in projects benefitting Asian elephants, including work with the International Elephant Foundation.

       It's Asian Elephant Awareness Month, let’s go above and beyond for these gentle giants! The Oklahoma City Zoo is in its summer hours and open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the last entry no later than 2 p.m. through Wednesday, August 31. Connect to wildlife and tons of fun as you experience the all new BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise at the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by Devon, BRICKLIVE features 45+ life-sized animal statues made with almost two million toy bricks! BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise is open daily during regular Zoo hours. Purchase advance tickets for general Zoo admission and BRICKLIVE at www.okczoo.org/tickets. 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 FacebookTwitterInstagramLinktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.

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