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Posted by Tara Henson on 01/10/2012


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden proudly announces Amy Stephens, Naturalist Instructor Supervisor as the 2011 Ralph D. Harris Employee of the Year. The Employee of the Year award is selected each year by the Zoo’s Employee Recognition Committee and management staff.

A member of the Zoo's Education team since 1998, Amy teaches a variety of programs throughout the year in addition to supervising the department’s part time birthday party, snooze and camp staff members and overseeing the Zoo’s collection of historical artifacts.

Amy was the sole impetus behind saving the historical building that is now the Patricia and Bryon J. Gambulos ZooZeum. Through her passion and motivation to preserve the Zoo’s history for generations to come the foundation for the ZooZeum came to life when it opened last spring. For nearly a decade Amy gathered historical information, objects and oral histories about the Zoo. This past November her effort to bring Gayla Peevey to the Zoo for the debut of the “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” ZooZeum exhibit resulted in providing a special holiday event for the community and creating another unforgettable moment in the Zoo’s history.  

“Amy is a true asset to our team,” said Dwight Scott, Zoo Executive Director/CEO. “She is extremely self-motivated and approaches all projects with heartfelt enthusiasm and a positive outlook. Amy is 100% focused on doing the best job possible for the Zoo, her peers and our patrons.” 

Amy brings many of her personal passions to her job. She supports animal welfare and co-developed the Zoo’s internal certification program for animal training and its curriculum. An advocate of life-long learning, Amy shares this passion with staff and volunteers by maintaining the Zoo’s library. Working closely with staff she keeps the library’s collection current allowing them access to information on present zoo practices and research. She is also an engaging speaker and often speaks in public forums about the Zoo.

Aside from her Zoo duties, Amy is an award-winning author. Her book “Oklahoma City Zoo: 1902-1959” (c2006 Arcadia Publishing) was awarded as an Outstanding Publication by the Oklahoma Museum Association. She also maintains membership in with the National Association for Interpretation and the Oklahoma Museum Association. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Oklahoma Christian University and a master’s degree in Instructional Media from the University of Central Oklahoma. She and her husband Mike reside in Edmond.

Located in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, recognized as one of the top three family friendly zoos in the nation and the state’s #1 attraction, the Oklahoma City Zoo is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with exhibit buildings closing at 4:45. Admission is $8 for adults, $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 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!