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Posted by Diana Jones on 03/16/2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                            March 16, 2011 



 Tara Henson:           (405) 425-0219, (405) 919-9038, cell or [email protected]

Candice Rennels:     (405) 425-0298, (405) 412-6172, cell or [email protected]




            The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is proud to announce Alan Varsik as Assistant Zoo Director effective November 1, 2010. Mr. Varsik was previously the Assistant Zoo Director at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara, California. 

As Assistant Zoo Director, Mr. Varsik will oversee the Zoo’s animal collection which consists of nearly 1,800 animals. He will also be instrumental in overseeing major zoo projects including Expedition Asia and the new Veterinarian Hospital both set to open in 2013.  Mr. Varsik is also a member of the Zoo’s Conservation Action Now (CAN) Grant Program Committee which is responsible for reviewing and awarding small grants to potential projects. Ideal projects will support conservation through one or more of the following methods: Education, Research, habitat restoration or species preservation.

Mr. Varsik’s professional background encompasses over 26 years experience in animal and zoo management during which he has worked at four Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facilities. He has been a member of AZA since 1984. Mr. Varsik received a Master of Arts in Conservation Park Management from DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California. He and his wife reside in Edmond.

“Alan is a great addition to our team,” said Dwight Scott, Executive Director/CEO.  “He enjoys forging relationships with people and assisting in their professional development, and is committed to the conservation and education goals of our facility.”

Visit the Oklahoma City Zoo today, Oklahoma’s #1 attraction and one of the top three family-friendly zoos in the nation. Located at NE 52nd and Martin Luther King Blvd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111, in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, the Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with exhibit buildings closing at 4:45 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 11 and seniors ages 65 and older. Children two and under are free.  For more information, call (405) 424-3344 or visit



EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo available upon request via the Public Relations and Marketing team (see Contacts.)

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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!