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Posted by Candice Rennels on 06/21/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              June 21, 2012


Tara Henson                       (405) 425-0219/O, (405) 919-9038/C or [email protected]

Candice Rennels               (405) 425-0298/O, (405) 412-6172/C or [email protected]



South of the Red River a new home and a female companion await the Zoo’s harpy eagle who will be relocating to Dallas Zoo at the end of June. Since 1972, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden has been home to this mighty and majestic bird of prey who has become a favorite among zoo guests.

The Zoo’s 41 year old male harpy eagle is one of only 15 harpies in the United States. Due to large scale deforestation of their native habitat range and poaching, harpies are one of the many endangered birds in Latin America and protecting their declining population is imperative. Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program was created to help ensure genetic diversity and demographic stability in North American zoos. While at the Zoo, the harpy was paired with two different females but never fathered any offspring so his caregivers were excited with the SSP’s recommendation to relocate him to fellow AZA-accredited Dallas Zoo in hopes he will successfully breed with their female.

Harpies are one of the largest eagles in the world, weighing an average of 18 pounds. And like most eagle species, the female harpy is almost twice as large as the male. With its seven-foot wingspan, harpies are designed for speed and agility to easily navigate throughout rainforests. They have a very distinctive look, with feathers atop its head that fan into a bold crest when the bird feels threatened.

Visit the harpy eagle before he heads south and attend the Zoo’s regularly scheduled “Bird of Prey” weekend Keeper Connection at 1:30 p.m. During the Keeper Connections, meet the harpy eagle’s care givers and see what “departing” enrichment treats and/or activities they have planned for him before he leaves the Zoo.

There’s something fun for everyone at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Visit Oklahoma’s #1 attraction and one of the top three zoos in the country as named in the 2012 10Besties Readers' Choice Travel Awards! The Oklahoma City Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35 in. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Now through September 1, the Zoo stays open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays only, with exhibit buildings closing at 7:45 p.m. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages three-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Become a Zoo fan at or follow us on Twitter @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit

Harpy Eagle

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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.

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