HELP SUPPORT REX'S TREK TO THE OKC ZOO / 2011
For Immediate Release
Brianne Hinojosa Dana McCrory
Oklahoma Zoological Society Oklahoma Zoological Society
Help Support Rex’s Trek to The Oklahoma City Zoo
Oklahoma City, OK — Oklahoma City residents are notorious for helping bring elephants to the Oklahoma City Zoo. In 1930, Oklahoma City residents welcomed the first elephant, Luna, to the Zoo, which was called Lincoln Park Zoo at that time. Citizens pitched in their coins to help purchase Luna. After her passing in 1949, citizens immediately began raising funds for a new elephant.
Duane Andrews of Kingfisher, OK started the campaign which brought Judy the elephant to Oklahoma City. His check for $16.73 was the first donation made and many others followed. School children also participated by collecting their coins. Within two weeks of the campaign starting the funds had been raised to bring Judy to Oklahoma City. Approximately 50,000 donors participated in the campaign and raised the $4,500 needed to purchase the new elephant and on May 21, 1949 Judy made her debut in Oklahoma City. Judy lived at the Zoo until her passing in 1998.
Currently the Zoo is home to three female Asian elephants: Asha, Chandra and Asha’s calf, Malee, but a new male elephant will soon be joining our girls! Rex, an Asian bull elephant, will be coming to the Zoo from Canada. “We are very excited about Rex’s approaching arrival, said Dwight Scott, Oklahoma City Zoo Executive Director/CEO. “We have been working with the Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan (SSP) to find a compatible bull to breed with our adult female elephants and Rex was recommended. In time we hope to see our herd grow.”
Pack your trunk! Elephant expenses are quite large, as you can imagine. Transportation costs could run as high as $10,000.00 to bring Rex to the Zoo so we need help from you! The Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS) and Bank of Oklahoma will be working together to raise money to transport Rex from Canada to Oklahoma City. Rex has a long trek to cover – over 1,500 miles. His exact arrival date has yet to be determined. Bank of Oklahoma will be accepting donations November 16 through December 7, to help bring Rex to Oklahoma City. Donations will be accepted at all metro area Bank of Oklahoma branches. However, coin donations cannot be taken at grocery store branches, only checks and bills.
Westwood Elementary in Oklahoma City is excited about helping support Rex’s Trek. Area schools are encouraged to get involved for great prizes, fun field trips and being able to say “I supported Rex’s Trek!”
Special “Rex’s Trek” collection bags can be picked up at Bank of Oklahoma Branches or the ZooFriends membership office located at the Zoo beginning November 17. The ZooFriends membership office is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You may also drop off donations at the membership office. For further information please call OZS at 405-425-0612.
OZS was created in 1954 to support and promote the Zoo and its four purposes of education, conservation, zoological research and recreation. OZS does this through membership drives, fund-raising, capital campaigns, marketing, special events and public relations.