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AUGUST HAPPENINGS AT THE OKC ZOO

The Shawnee News-Star
OKC Zoo

The Oklahoma City Zoo has a new summer deal for you with free general admission on weekday afternoons for the first two weeks of August! On weekday afternoons of August 3-7 and August 10-14, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., guests making an online reservation will receive free general admission. Attendance will be limited each afternoon to ensure appropriate social distancing among guests while in the park. This offer applies to all guests–adults, seniors and children. Children two and under are always free. Connect with the Zoo’s wildlife for free on these dates:

Monday, August 3 through Friday, August 7, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. each day

Monday, August 10 through Friday, August 14, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. each day

All guests and ZOOfriends members wanting to visit must make an advance online reservation at www.okczoo.org/tickets. To learn more, call (405) 425-0262.

NOW THROUGH AUGUST 31: ART GONE WILD, ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS

The Oklahoma City Zoo’s annual art show of original animal paintings, Art Gone Wild, returns with more unique pieces now on display and available for purchase at the Zoo. Art Gone Wild is a collection of paintings made by various OKC Zoo animals including bobcat, elephants, ostrich, sea lions, tigers and more, with assistance from their caregivers. From traditional brushes to using their feathers, nose, paws, trunk or flippers each animal applies its own technique and style to paint! Art Gone Wild is part of the Zoo’s enrichment program and the paints are safe for the animals to use as they are non-toxic and washable. Prices for these one-of-a-kind wild works of art range from $35 to $300, depending on size.  All net proceeds benefit one of the Zoo’s local conservation initiatives. Art Gone Wild will be on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the entry plaza through Monday, August 31. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services.

THURSDAY EVENINGS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10: SIP & STROLL, OKC ZOO’S 21+ EVENT SERIES, CONTINUES

Here’s to more sipping, strolling and summer sunsets at the Zoo! The Oklahoma City Zoo’s 21+ summer event series, Sip & Stroll, continues through September 10. Sponsored by Will & Wiley Hard Seltzer, 1800 Tequila, Kraken Rum and Bubly Sparkling Water, Sip & Stroll, is your passport to a global experience every Thursday evening now through September 10, from 6 to 10 p.m. Guests 21-and-older, limited to 900 guests per night, are invited to explore an outdoor path that spans almost the entire Zoo to discover wondrous wildlife and specialty cocktails along the way. Visit all six water holes to delight in featured drinks, like the Chubby Green Unicorn and Blue Planet, inspired by wildlife and wild places from around the world. Tasty bites will be available for purchase from Best of Oklahoma and Big Rock BBQ, as well as selections from an outdoor grill.

Event goers will also have the opportunity to support the creative side of conservation and purchase wild art, painted by the OKC Zoo’s animals as part of Art Gone Wild. Paintings will be on display in the Guest Services office during Sip & Stroll. All net proceeds benefit the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.

Sip & Stroll admission is $17 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance online at okczoo.org/sipandstroll.  Additionally, attendees can also pre-purchase a Drink Passport at okczoo.org/sipandstroll good for one 5-oz featured drink sample at all six water holes for an additional $27 per person. Six full bars located throughout the Zoo will be selling beverages including domestic beer, wine, mixed drinks, soda and water. Event entry times are spaced every 15 minutes to allow for maximum social distancing. After scheduled checked in, guests are welcome to stay through the duration of the event, 10 p.m. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Sip & Stroll is a rain or shine event.

AUGUST IS ASIAN ELEPHANT AWARENESS MONTH

August is Asian Elephant Awareness Month and the Oklahoma City Zoo is collaborating with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and international elephant conservation partners to raise awareness of the plight Asian elephants are facing, and empower the public to help save this endangered species through an engaging social media campaign, #TONSoflove. This unified effort aims to inspire wildlife fans to show their love for Asian elephants by posting photos and messages on social media with #TONSoflove. Participants are encouraged to hold their hands in the shape of a heart in their posts. The OKC Zoo is home to seven Asian elephants and committed to providing opportunities for the community to get involved to ensure the future of this beloved animal. Along with the #TONSoflove campaign, join the OKC Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru for World Elephant Day on Sunday, August 9. Guests can partake in various activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to learn more about the Zoo’s Asian elephants and how you can help save their counterparts in the wild. Show your love for Asian elephants with #TONSoflove and remember to tag @okczoo.

NOW THROUGH MONDAY, AUGUST 31:  OKC ZOO SUMMER PROMOTION, $2 OFF GENERAL ADMISSION AFTER 2 PM!

Take in the Zoo after 2 p.m. and save! During the month of August, the Oklahoma City Zoo is offering a special promotion and guests will receive $2 off any regular general admission ticket purchased after 2 p.m. 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. Enjoy your afternoons exploring all the Zoo has to see and do! Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Zoo admission is limited daily to ensure adequate social distancing among guests.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1 THROUGH MONDAY, AUGUST 31:  OKC ZOO MEMBERSHIPS ON SALE

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Oklahoma Zoological Society are offering a summer membership sale for the month of August and discounting all its ZOOfriends memberships. OKC Zoo fans will receive 10% off when they purchase or renew any membership now through August 31, 2020. ZOOfriends members enjoy unlimited access to the OKC Zoo for one year plus additional discounts and benefits. Additionally, your purchase supports the OKC Zoo, its animals and conservation efforts both locally and globally.

ZOOFRIENDS DISCOUNTED MEMBERSHIP PRICES:

§   Adventurer $45, now $40!

Membership offers free admission for one individual per visit.

§   Wildcard $90, now $81!

Membership offers free admission for one adult and one guest per visit.

§   Family $120, now $108!

Membership offers free admission for two adults and four children per visit.

§   Safari $150, now $135!

Membership offers free admission for up to six individuals per visit.

§   Expedition $195, now $175!

Membership offers free admission for up to six individuals per visit, and the ability to name a third adult on the membership.

Memberships can be purchased at http://www.zoofriends.org/membership or any place admission is sold in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza during regular business hours.

NOW THROUGH FRIDAY, AUGUST 28: OKC ZOO SUMMER CAMPS

Keep your kiddos engaged this summer with the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Summer Camps. The OKC Zoo is extending its summer camp sessions through Friday, August 28 providing more programs for children ages 4-11. These weekly day camps connect young explorers to the Zoo’s wildlife and expert caretakers through up-close encounters with animals, themed lessons, activities, time exploring the Zoo and more. Full-day camps run Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $275 (ZOOfriends’ members) and $300 (nonmembers). To provide a safe Summer Camp experience for our Zoo campers, capacity is limited to 10 participants per program and extended care will not be available this season. Advance registration and payment are required. To register online or learn more about the Zoo’s Summer Camps, visit www.okczoo.org/summer-camps or call the Zoo’s education department at (405) 425-0218.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 4: INTERNATIONAL CLOUDED LEOPARD DAY PRESENTED BY BOB MOORE SUBARU

Be spotted at the Oklahoma City Zoo for International Clouded Leopard Day on Tuesday, August 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hosted locally by Bob Moore Subaru, International Clouded Leopard Day brings global attention to the perils surrounding wild clouded leopards and the importance of conserving these beautiful, elusive cats and their habitat. The OKC Zoo’s Cat Forest is home to its two clouded leopards, male, JD and female, Rukai. Event activities will be set up in Cat Forest near the clouded leopard habitat and include an information station, scavenger safari with prizes, photo opportunities and a special training demonstration with JD and Rukai at 11 a.m. All event activities are free with Zoo admission. Clouded leopard animal paintings will also be available to purchase in the Guest Services office, with all proceeds benefitting the Zoo’s Round Up For Conservation initiative. For more information, call (405) 425-0262.  

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7: OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS RECEIVE FROZEN TREATS AS PART OF ENRICHMENT EVENT

Chill out and watch as some of the Oklahoma City Zoo’s animal ambassadors receive frozen treats during this cool enrichment event on Friday, August 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zoo caretakers will prepare these edible creations made with the animals’ favorite diet items. Participating animals will enjoy sniffing at, playing with, chomping, stomping and devouring these wild ice treats! For a complete enrichment schedule, visit www.okczoo.org.  

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9: WORLD ELEPHANT DAY PRESENTED BY BOB MOORE SUBARU

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru invite you to the Zoo on Sunday, August 9 for World Elephant Day. Join the herd for this conservation awareness day celebrating elephants. Asian and African elephant populations are declining in the wild due to numerous threats and this global event inspires wildlife enthusiasts to take action for these magnificent animals. World Elephant Day activities are planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Zoo grounds and include a scavenger safari with prizes, photo opportunities, caretaker chats and Facebook live videos. All activities are free with Zoo admission. For more information, call (405) 425-0262.  

ONGOING:  OKC ZOO’S STATEWIDE LIBRARY PROGRAM, READ FOR ADVENTURE, OFFERS NEW BOOK AND FREE ZOO TICKETS

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s statewide library program, Read for Adventure, is available offering Oklahoma families reading fun and free tickets to the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by OG&E, this year’s program features a new, original children’s book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, helps encourage kids to read with an inspiring story of a child’s journey as she learns about monarch butterflies. These valuable pollinators migrate annually through Oklahoma on their journey from central Mexico to southern Canada and both the OKC Zoo and OG&E are dedicated to conserving vital habitats for monarchs. The Read for Adventure program is aimed at promoting literacy statewide and invites library card holders to check out Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, from any participating public and tribal library location within the state, to receive a voucher redeemable for FREE general admission to the OKC Zoo for up to four people (child, adult or senior). Vouchers are redeemable through June 30, 2021. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.

ONGOING:  OKC ZOO ATTRACTIONS OPEN/SUMMER SEASON SCHEDULE

Go wild with these one-of-kind OKC Zoo attractions now available for the summer season. Daily capacity will be limited for each attraction to ensure social distancing among guests. Guests can pre-purchase tickets for all Zoo rides and attractions when they make their online reservation at www.okczoo.org/tickets or purchase them in the park. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting and schedules are subject to change without notice.

Flamingo Mingle: The Zoo’s feathered friends are waiting to meet you! Experience the excitement of feeding the Zoo’s American flamingos. Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily, weather-permitting, in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. Cost is $7 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.

Elephant Express Tram: Enjoy the view as you tour the Zoo with non-stop rides from the Entry Plaza to Sanctuary Asia! Rides offered Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children two and under free.

Camel Rides: Take your visit to new heights with a camel ride on one of three dromedary camels, Bill, Fred or Mongo. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $6 per person. Children under 6 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.  Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. Additional rules are posted at the habitat.

Centennial Choo Choo: The Zoo’s popular train ride is open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. Children two and under free.

Endangered Species Carousel: Bring on the smiles! Carousel rides are available Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.

Explorikeet Feedings (Children’s Zoo): Discover the hands-on fun of feeding our lorikeets! Opportunities available Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $4 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. This attraction closes for a “bird break” from 1-1:30 p.m.

Giraffe Feeding Platform: Be spotted feeding our gentle giants! Daily feeding opportunities from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.

Sea Lion Presentations: “Sea” this season’s new presentation, Ocean Commotion, to connect with and learn about the Zoo’s popular pinnipeds in a fun, engaging way! Daily presentations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Zoo’s Sea Lion Presentation Stadium. Cost is $5 per person. Children two and under are free.

Stingray Bay: Make your way to Stingray Bay for an up-close encounter with these majestic creatures. Cost is $4 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. Open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S RIDE IT ALL WRISTBANDS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

Unlimited rides and fun await with Oklahoma City Zoo’s Ride It All wristbands. OKC Zoo guests can add a Ride It All wristband to their admission ticket to enjoy unlimited rides on the Zoo’s Endangered Species Carousel, Centennial Choo Choo train and Elephant Express Tram. Daily capacity for all rides will be limited to ensure appropriate social distancing among guests. Rides will be cleaned and sanitized between each stop. The Elephant Express tram route will take guests between the Entry Plaza and Sanctuary Asia and includes a narrated tour by the Zoo’s knowledgeable and experienced drivers along the way. Due to the popularity of all rides, guests with Ride It All wristbands may experience brief lines at each attraction. Lines should dissipate quickly. The price for a Ride It All wristband is $10 per person for all ages plus general Zoo admission. ZOOfriends members can purchase a Ride It All for $10/person for all ages. To purchase advance Zoo admission tickets and Ride It All wristbands, visit www.okczoo.org/tickets.

ONGOING: OKC ZOO KEYS RETURN

A Zoo classic is new again! Unlock the fun with OKC Zoo Keys! Sponsored by Oklahoma’s Own News9, OKC Zoo Keys is an all-new reimaging of a popular Zoo activity that began in the 1960s. Guests of all ages can unlock recorded messages from more than 20 displays throughout the Zoo. This retro attraction features information about the Zoo’s signature species and conservation efforts and spoken by some of News9’s most popular anchors and meteorologists. There are five key options available in various colors. Each key is made from the same molds used to make keys for the OKC Zoo in the 1960s. In fact, vintage keys will also work to unlock the new conservation messages! Cost is $4 per key. Zoo Keys are available for purchase daily at the Guest Services office, stroller window (Entry Plaza) and Explorikeet habitat in the Children’s Zoo.

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS

The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wild Encounters enable wildlife fans to get up close and personal with grizzly bears, Galapagos tortoises, sea lions and Asian elephants! Wild Encounters are premium experiences that let you see some of your favorite Zoo animals in up-close ways like never before. Connect with our expert caretakers and learn about the animals they care for each and every day and the Zoo’s efforts to conserve their wild counterparts. Wild Encounters are available daily and each experience comes with a souvenir lanyard! These encounters are also ideal gifts for any occasion. There is a maximum of six people per encounter and participants must wear masks. Prices range from $40–$50 per person depending on the encounter. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. ZOOfriends’ members receive discount per encounter. For additional information about Wild Encounters or to make a reservation, contact Guest Services at (405) 425-0262.

ONGOING: OKC ZOO POO AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

Bring your garden to life with OKC ZOO POO, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s premium compost! Sourced from organic plant material and many of your favorite Zoo animals including the Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, giraffe and various hoofstock, OKC ZOO POO is a must have for any gardening project. OKC ZOO POO is available for purchase at the Zoo's Guest Services office, located in the Entry Plaza. Two sizes are currently available: a small bag for $3.99 and a large bag with a reusable tote bag and a packet of pollinator seeds for $14.99. To learn more, call (405) 425-0262 or visit www.okczoo.org.

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S CONSERVATION WRISTBANDS

Show your love and support for wildlife and wild places by purchasing and collecting the Oklahoma City Zoo’s conservation wristbands. These one-of-a-kind wristbands are available to purchase at the OKC Zoo’s stroller window in the Entry Plaza for $2 each, with all proceeds benefitting the Zoo’s local and global conservation efforts. Choose from 10 different animal designs including butterfly, elephant, flamingo, giraffe, gorilla, honeybee, lion, red panda, rhino and turtle.

            The Oklahoma City Zoo is open daily at 8 a.m. and advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members. Tickets can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/tickets and are limited each day to ensure adequate social distancing between guests. The Zoo is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. now through Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2020.

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 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. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit www.okczoo.org.