media banner with flamingo picture


Posted by Tara Henson on 09/20/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            September 20, 2013



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]




     The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden has been granted accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The accreditation certifies that the Zoo has met or exceeded the AZA’s standards for animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete its accreditation process every five years in order to remain a member.

     The Zoo has seen significant capital improvements and celebrated major milestones since last awarded accreditation in 2008. Two major exhibits opened including the Children’s Zoo in 2010 and a state-of-the-art, 9.5-acre Elephant Habitat in 2011, where the historical birth of its first elephant calf occurred the same year. Dwight Scott, executive director, was named to the Board of Trustees of the prestigious Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, and the Zoo launched its small grants program, Conservation Action Now (CAN), which has funded nearly $22,000 in projects since 2011. This year, construction began on the Zoo’s new Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital slated to open in 2014 and Stingray Bay opened.

     “Being recognized as an accredited AZA member is a distinguished honor and an achievement I proudly share with my entire staff,” said Scott. “This recognition is a testament to our commitment to being an industry leader in animal welfare and conservation, and would not be possible without the dedication of our staff and the support we receive from the community, our members, our volunteers and patrons. Exciting things are on the Zoo’s horizon and, as we grow, we will maintain the highest level of excellence to ensure a quality experience for future generations to enjoy.”

     To receive accreditation, the Zoo completed a detailed application and underwent a three-day site inspection by a team of leading zoo-industry experts. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operations including animal husbandry, veterinary programs, conservation and research programs, education programs, public outreach, safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, guest services and more. The inspectors also evaluated the Zoo’s finances, its governing authority and the relationship with its member organization, the Oklahoma Zoological Society.

     Founded in 1924, AZA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science and recreation. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit

     Located in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, the Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. until 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 age 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Are you a Zoo fan?  Find us at and @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit



Association of Zoos and AquariumsOklahoma City's Adventure DistrictBest Zoos at 10Best.comDr Pepper 23     Central Oklahoma Frontier country

© 2009 Oklahoma City Zoo. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | 2101 NE 50th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73111 • 405-424-3344
Website designed by Back40 Design & managed by Javelin CMS

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!