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Posted by Candice Rennels on 01/28/2014

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                January 28, 2014


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

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




WHAT:           Move over Punxsutawney Phil–our grizzlies got this! Will and Wiley, the Zoo’s beloved grizzly bear brothers, will make their annual Groundhog Day prediction from their home at Oklahoma Trails. 

WHEN:           Sunday, February 2, 2014, from 10 a.m.–11 a.m.

DETAILS:      As Groundhog Day nears, Oklahomans of all ages will be wondering if the Zoo’s grizzly bears will predict spring or winter. The Zoo does not have groundhogs in its collection so Will and Wiley graciously step in each year as official Groundhog Day ambassadors. We invite you to this wild tradition taking place in the Zoo’s Big Rivers building at Oklahoma Trails. Guests will enjoy free hot chocolate and treats while supplies last, and children will have an opportunity to create their own Groundhog Day signs. Help bring on the fun and the sun!


Groundhog Day highlights:

  • Over the years, the Zoo has had many Groundhog Day delegates including the bison, a prairie dog and pot-bellied pigs. Will and Wiley remain fan favorites!  

  • Will and Wiley came to the Zoo in 2003 after being orphaned in the Alaska wilderness. When they were five-months old, Southwest airlines provided complimentary transportation for them to travel from Seattle to Oklahoma City. Shortly after they arrived the Zoo initiated a “Name the Bear Contest,” and enthusiasts voted to name the pair Will and Wiley after famous Oklahomans Will Rogers and Wiley Post.

  • Grizzly bears used to be native to the state of Oklahoma.

  • Weather watching comes naturally for our bear pair. Bears were originally used to predict the weather in Europe but, when the population of bears decreased, a badger or groundhog filled in. Hence the name, Groundhog Day.


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




Editor’s note: Attached are photos from last year’s festivities and a picture of grizzly bears, Will and Wiley. Media should check in at the Guest Relations office by 9:45 a.m.

Bears Will and Wiley      Groundhog Day 2013

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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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