Slither down to the OKC Zoo for National Reptile Day. Family-friendly activities, special enrichment session, photo opportunities and more.
In celebration of reptiles, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru are coming together to celebrate one of the most diverse classes of animals on our planet. This nationally recognized day is dedicated to bringing awareness and promoting the conservation of these spectacularly scaly animals.
National Reptile Day activities will be held in and around the Herpetarium on Friday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of all species of reptiles, participate in family-friendly activities, observe special enrichment sessions, enjoy photo opportunities and more all sponsored by Bob Moore Subaru. National Reptile Day activities are free with paid Zoo admission. Additionally, the reptile care team will be hosting a special caretaker chat (weather permitting) highlighting the Zoo’s green anaconda and allowing her time to stretch out in a grassy area near the Wetlands Walkway. Guests will be able to view this magnificent snake from afar and chat with the Zoo’s reptile experts and ask questions about these special species. A member of the boa family, the green anaconda is the world’s heaviest snake even though it is not the longest snake! The Zoo’s first anaconda arrived in 1966.
In addition to National Reptile Day, the OKC Zoo is proud to continue support of multiple conservation initiatives including the Texas Horned Lizard Project and the Foundation for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Guatemala (FUNDESGUA).
The Texas Horned Lizard Project is a conservation program dedicated to the research and protection of Texas horned lizards, native throughout Oklahoma and several other states. In partnership with the University of Oklahoma, the Sam Noble Museum, Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the OKC Zoo helps provide people power for this important study. Zoo staff use radio telemetry to locate the lizards and collect data for several studies including reintroduction evaluation, habitat usage, and the effects of prairie restoration. In addition to field research, the OKC Zoo also helps raise Texas horned lizards through their most vulnerable stage of life. This program gives the horned lizards a headstart in life before releasing them to help increase wild populations.
The Foundation for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Guatemala (FUNDESGUA) is an organization founded by the Zoo’s Curator of Herpetology, Brad Lock. This organization uses science-based strategies embedded in local culture to guide every day actions leading to successful conservation results. FUNDESGUA focuses on two target species, the critically endangered Guatemalan beaded lizard and Campbell’s alligator lizard. These species rely on hardwood forests and FUNDESGUA has worked with local communities to plant hundreds of thousands of trees to restore habitat, helping the lizards and people thrive. The OKC Zoo is home to numerous Guatemalan beaded lizards, making the Zoo one of only two successful breeding facilities for the critically endangered lizard.
NATIONAL REPTILE DAY FACTS
- Reptiles are ectotherms, meaning they cannot generate their own body heat. Birds and mammals are endotherms, meaning they can generate their own body heat.
- The reptile family includes lizards, turtles, crocodiles, alligators and snakes.
- There are over 10,000 known species of reptiles, making them more diverse than mammals or amphibians.
- Most reptiles lay eggs, but some give live birth.
- Tortoises are the longest-living reptiles. Mrs. B, a Galapagos tortoise at the OKC Zoo is over 100 years old.
- One-fifth of all reptile species face the risk of extinction. Turtles and crocodiles are the most threatened
- The main threats to reptiles are habitat loss and trafficking for pets, food and body parts.
- OKC Zoo raises Texas horned lizards through their most vulnerable stage and then releases them to increase wild populations.
- With the Round Up for Conservation fund, OKC Zoo supports habitat restoration for critically endangered lizards in Guatemala.
- OKC Zoo has reproduced many endangered reptiles including Guatemalan beaded lizards, Catalina Island rattlesnakes, wood turtles and spotted turtles.
Slither, slink and swim to the OKC Zoo for National Reptile Day! The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. The Oklahoma City Zoo is thrilled to host the 39th annual Haunt the Zoo for Halloween presented by Oklahoma’s Own News 9. Haunt the Zoo occurs Saturdays and Sundays now through October 30. Trick-or-treating is available each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a morning reservation block from 9 a.m. to noon and an afternoon block from noon to 4 p.m. General Zoo admission or ZOOfriends memberships plus, official Haunt the Zoo treat bags are required to trick-or-treat and must be purchased in advance at www.okczoo.org/htz.
Connect to wildlife and tons of fun as you experience BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise at the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by Devon, BRICKLIVE features 45+ life-sized animal statues made with almost two million toy bricks! BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise is open daily during regular Zoo hours through Sunday, October 30. Purchase advance tickets for general Zoo admission and BRICKLIVE at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Membership has its perks! As a member of the Oklahoma City Zoo, enjoy free admission all year-long, plus many additional benefits and discounts. You will also be supporting the Zoo’s animal family, education programming and conservation initiatives. Join or renew today at www.okczoo.org/membership.
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, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.