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Posted by Candice Rennels on 03/01/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  July 13, 2012


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’s Behind the Scenes program offers participants a once in a lifetime opportunity. Experience a day like no other when you go behind “zoo” scenes to learn first hand about the Zoo’s amazing animal collection from the people dedicated to caring for them. The program is offered monthly from February through October. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays in February, March (excluding spring break week) and April, and on Thursdays from May through October.

Participants will have the opportunity to spend half a day working with our animal professionals as they care for, train and enrich their animals. Behind the Scenes will also allow enrollees the chance to ask questions and learn what they can do to help animals in the wild. Spaces are limited. Choose to visit one of ten different Zoo areas including:

  • Birds – Birds of a feather don’t always stick together; we have many!  Sign up for a fun behind the scenes look at how OKC keepers interact with their feathered charges on a daily basis.  You may have the opportunity to visit the offsite group of Lorikeets, feed a baby bird, give a bath to a macaw, or simply shadow one of our dedicated keepers to see how it’s all done.
  • Children’s Zoo – Connect with your inner child in the “CZ.” You will learn about lorikeets, meet a goat up close and personal, or help walk and groom a donkey!  This area also includes a visit to the education animal room to meet the animal ambassadors that go on the road to help educate Oklahoma school children.
  • Carnivores – Spend the day meeting our carnivores large and small at the Oklahoma City Zoo.  You may meet animals smaller than a housecat or as large as a grizzly bear! You’ll meet a variety of animals native to your state, including a lovable beaver, rascally otters, bats, and many others.  You’ll get the chance to watch training sessions and help the keepers prepare enrichment activities designed for individual animals or groups of animals focused on bringing out their natural abilities!
  • Great EscApe – The Oklahoma City Zoo is home to three of the four great ape species: gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans.  Get the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes to visit with their dedicated caretakers.  You may get the chance to help prepare “ape” meals or enrichment activities and watch training sessions.
  • Marine Mammals – “Sea” the stars of the Aquatic Center’s sea lion show and their marine mammal friends. Experience what it takes to be a marine mammal trainer, and learn the duties of taking care of the Zoo’s seals and sea lions. Watch training sessions, create enrichment, make diets for our animals, and of course, have fun! (March program times are 9-11:30 a.m.).
  • Aquariums – From anemones to sharks, experience the inner workings of what it takes to maintain our unique aquatic habitats! Immerse yourself in the fine art of aquarium keeping and learn about both freshwater and saltwater systems.  Work along side aquarium staff to prepare diets and feed a variety of “bubbly” critters!
  • Hoofstock – The “Hoofstock” area encompasses a large collection of animals, including giraffe and other exotic hoof stock species.  In addition you may meet an Andean Bear, wild dogs, cheetah, and hyena. You may experience training or enrichment sessions both designed to keep our animals mentally and physically challenged, or to just have fun!!  You might even get to meet a giraffe up close and personal!
  • Pachyderms – Travel with our keepers from the rhino barn to the elephant habitat.  Learn how these mighty pachyderms cooperate with their caretakers to take a daily bath or perhaps get a pedicure.  You might have a chance for a close encounter with a rhino or an elephant!
  • Reptiles and Amphibians –   The Zoo is home to a large collection of native and exotic reptiles and amphibians from giant snakes to tiny frogs. Shadow one of our keepers and study the specialized care that these amazing animals require. See first hand, some of the unique feeding strategies of these creatures and even get up close and personal with a Galapagos tortoise!

Participants must be 14 or older.  The cost per day is $100 for ZooFriends members and $120 for non-members. Advanced registration is required.  For information or to register, please contact the Zoo’s Education Department at (405) 425-0275.

Make a wild wish come true enroll in Behind the Scenes at the Zoo! Oklahoma’s #1 attraction and voted the third best zoo in the nation, the Oklahoma City Zoo is located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35 in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District. Zoo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages three-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Are you a Zoo fan?  Find us at or Twitter @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit




Photo caption:  Behind the scenes at the Oklahoma City Zoo with giraffes and Jaimee Flinchbaugh, Hoofstock Supervisor. Credit: OKC Zoo

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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!