conservation banner with gorilla picture

Conservation Partnerships

Gorilla Conservation Okc Zoo

Above all else, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is dedicated to the preservation of the Earth's natural resources through conservation, education, awareness and scientific research. In order to fulfill this goal, the Zoo aids in numerous local, national and international conservation projects. Although the Zoo supports too many conservation initiatives to list, here are a few projects in which we are currently involved.


Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums


Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Accredited Member
The Oklahoma City Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of accredited zoos and aquariums in the areas of animal care, wildlife conservation, education and science. AZA is America's leading accrediting organization for zoos and aquariums and accredits only those institutions that have achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science. With more than 200 accredited members, AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement.

Species Survival Plan

Species Survival Plans (SSP)

The Zoo works with the AZA and other wildlife institutions to participate in Species Survival Plans (SSP). SSPs are a collective effort from these institutions to ensure the survivability of species from around the world. Through breeding programs and population management, SSPs seek to establish healthy, self-sustaining animal populations that are genetically diverse and demographically stable. Currently the Oklahoma City Zoo is working with 54 endangered or threatened species and 45 SSPs.



Black Rhino- Photo by Brian Cook


Bowling for Rhinos

Each year, the Zoo's chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) invites the public to hit the bowling lane during Bowling for Rhinos, an event that raises money for rhino conservation. Although a fun event, Bowling for Rhinos has a more important mission. Out of the 100 species of rhinos that formerly roamed the Earth, only five exist today, and all are considered endangered. Some of these species have fewer than 300 animals living, making extinction a real possibility unless conservation efforts can help turn the fate of these mammoth pachyderms. The Zoo's AAZK Chapter is one of more than 60 organizations in the United States and Canada that participates in Bowling for Rhinos annually. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Bowling for Rhino benefits rhino conservation projects in Asia and Africa.  With the help of the dedicated citizens of Oklahoma, the Zoo has raised $208,726 for rhino conservation through this event, which is more than any organization!  Bowling for Rhinos occurs during summer each year. To find out more about this event and how you can participate, click here.

Western lowland gorilla- photo by Brian Cook

Gorilla Golf

Also hosted by the Zoo's chapter of AAZK, Gorilla Golf occurs each year in the fall to raise money for gorilla conservation in Africa. Currently in its fifth year, AAZK donates one hundred percent of the proceeds to benefit the Tayna Gorilla Reserve in Africa. Not only does Tayna focus on gorilla conservation, but they also aid many other species, conduct scientific research and provide community support by educating and training children orphaned by the region's civil war. To learn how you can participate in Gorilla Golf as a player or a corporate sponsor, click here.

American or Caribbean Flamingo- Photo by Darcy Henthorn

Hialeah Racetrack Conservation Project - Previous Partnership
In 2007, the Oklahoma City Zoo hatched 11 Caribbean flamingos as part of the Hialeah Racetrack Conservation Project. Working with the Miami Metrozoo and the AZA, the flamingo eggs were collected at the Hialeah Racetrack, which has become home for a colony of wild flamingos.

The eggs add unrelated birds into our Zoo's flock, bringing genetic diversity from the wild without depleting wild birds. This also allows for larger flock numbers, which will increase the potential for successful reproduction.


Department of Wildlife Conservation

Partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife (ODWC)
The Zoo has a long history of supplying financial support and personnel to ODWC projects. These projects are not only numerous, but widespread in scope. Each year, the Zoo and ODWC join forces to conduct bat surveys at Oklahoma Wildlife Management Areas as well as breeding bird surveys in northwest Oklahoma. Through these efforts, the Zoo and ODWC have collected scientific data to help us better understand these species and their behavior in the environment.

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The Zoo is a fully accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) as both a living museum and a botanical garden. AZA accredited facilities are dedicated to providing excellent care for their plants and animals, a great experience for guests and a better future for all living things.

A New Breath of Fresh Air: As of Nov. 1, 2007, state law prohibits smoking inside zoological parks. Please help us abide by this law by refraining from smoking within the Zoo. Thank you for maintaining a smoke-free environment for all living things!