Flock to the Zoo on Saturday, April 24, to celebrate flamingos through educational activities, Facebook live videos and more
Calling all flamingo fanatics! Join the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden for International Flamingo Day on Saturday, April 24, and participate in the day’s activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru, activities will take place in the Children’s Zoo area and include interactive kids’ activities such as Flamingo Freeze Frame and What Flamingo Are You?, bio-facts, photo opportunities and special Facebook live events with members of the OKC Zoo’s bird care team at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Flamingo enthusiasts are encouraged to wear pink to the Zoo on International Flamingo Day to show their passion for these beloved featured creatures. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase fabulous flamingo souvenirs from the Safari Gift Shop, tasty pink-themed drinks and treats from the Safari Café and one-of-a-kind flamingo conservation wristband. Wristbands will be available for purchase at the stroller window located in the entry plaza. Cost is $2 per wristband with all proceeds supporting the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Flamingo Specialist Group declared April 26 as International Flamingo Day in 2020 to bring global awareness to the importance of protecting our planet’s iconic pink birds and their native habitats. There are six different species of flamingos found throughout the world on every continent expect for Australia and Antarctica. Flamingos inhabit a range of geographic areas from open marshes, swamps, lakes and coastal areas to high plateaus in the Andes Mountains of South American. In support of International Flamingo Day, the OKC Zoo is proud to partner with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Andean Highland Flamingo SAFE program which supports the recovery and conservation of Andean, Chilean and Puna (James’s) flamingos through research, public engagement and education.
The OKC Zoo is home to a flamboyance of Chilean and American flamingos. Native to South America, Chilean flamingos are listed as near threatened by the IUCN and are at risk due to habitat loss and hunting. This species is smaller and lighter pink than the American flamingo. American flamingos are known for their height, vibrant pink feathers and are the only species of flamingo native to the United States. In most recent years, the Zoo’s bird care team has found success in partial parent rearing of Chilean flamingo chicks with adult American flamingos who act as foster parents. Partial parent rearing enables flamingo chicks to benefit from parent rearing and group socialization, while teaching them to be successful parents in the future. The Zoo’s newest Chilean flamingo chick has been successfully introduced into the Children’s Zoo flock where guests can see him with his foster parents and fellow feathered friends.
There’s more to “flock out” about on International Flamingo Day with the Zoo’s Flamingo Mingle experience and Paint the Wild. Get up-close and personal with our flamingos as you feed them! Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. Cost is $7 per person. Flamingo Mingle tickets can pre-purchased with online reservations at www.okczoo.org/tickets or in the park. Think pink as you Paint the Wild! Join the Zoo on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25, for its final Paint the Wild events and create your own flamingo painting. These engaging events provide a creative way for wildlife fans, 12 and older, to connect with the Zoo’s flamingos and bird caretakers. Paint the Wild events run from 2 to 5 p.m. and the same painting is taught on both Saturday and Sunday. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit okczoo.org.
OKC Zoo International Flamingo Day Facts
- Flamingo comes from the Spanish and Latin word “flamenco” which means fire.
- Flamingo chicks are born gray or white and take 3-5 years to reach their mature pink.
- Both males and females incubate a single egg which sits on top of a mud mound nest.
- Flamingos are monogamous and usually lay one egg a year.
- Flamingo parents and chicks recognize each other’s vocalizations
- Zoological parks have had success in breeding Chilean, Caribbean and greater flamingos.
- There are fewer flamingos in the wild today than there were a decade ago due to changes in habitat, hunting, human elements and environmental factors.
- Caribbean, Chilean, and greater flamingos are protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act of 1918.
- There are six species of flamingos in the world- the greater flamingo, lesser flamingo, James’s flamingo, Chilean flamingo, Andean flamingo and American flamingo.
- Water pollution is a serious threat to wild flamingos.
Gather your family and friends and flamin“GO” to the Zoo for International Flamingo Day! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Zoo tickets are limited daily to maintain social distancing among guests. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.