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Posted by Tara Henson on 07/24/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    JULY 18, 2014


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

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




       In March 1984, Donna Mobbs began her career at the Oklahoma City Zoo as the administrator coordinator to the executive director--a position she’s proudly held for 30 years.

       Mobbs grew up in central Oklahoma, graduated from Star Spencer High School, and took some college classes and medical courses.   Mobbs spent the next eight years in administration with EMSA (formerly AmCare), completing basic paramedic training and assisting on ambulance calls. But her first love was the zoo environment. Growing up in the Oklahoma City area, she and her family were regular guests at the Zoo and, at the age of six, a memorable encounter with a zookeeper set the stage for her professional future.

       “We were by the lion habitat and my shoe fell off and landed in the grotto,” Mobbs recalls.  “A keeper came and rescued my shoe and spent time talking with us and interacting with the kids. I could tell he really loved his job. And I remember thinking even at that age, ‘I love the Zoo and I want to work at the Zoo.’”

       Years later, her dream came true.  Mobbs began her Zoo career at a time when speed typing on IBM Selectrics and shorthand were essential skills. Mobbs, however, has embraced technological advances, working largely behind the scenes supporting four interim directors and five executive directors through the years, and acting as a liaison to the Board of Trustees and civic leaders, fulfilling requests and supplying information. She has been responsible for Trust meeting agendas and minutes, bid specifications, requests for proposals, accreditations procedures and documentation, inspections, legal requirements, and public works projects, to name a few.

       “Donna is the type of executive assistant sought after by large multi-national corporations.  She seems to know the executive director's needs even before he does,” said Alice Pippin, Board of Trustees chairperson. “As Chairperson, I have relied on her organizational skills many times and never found them lacking.  She is always kind and courteous.  The Zoo is lucky to have her.”

        “I’ve enjoyed watching this place transform through the years,” Mobbs said. “The staff is the best we’ve had. I’m amazed at their intelligence, skill and passion. They love to share their Zoo stories and teach you something valuable. I’m very excited about our new director, Dr. Dwight Lawson, and where we’re headed with his guidance.”

       The Oklahoma City Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Become a Zoo fan , or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit



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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!