Take part in this special day’s happenings dedicated to raising awareness for all species of rhinos and enjoy family-friendly activities, caretaker chats and more.


The fate of rhinos depends on us! Friday, May 5, marks the annual celebration of Rhino Awareness Day and to celebrate, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is inviting guests to partake in the festivities. Presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru, this Rhino Awareness Day celebration will be held throughout the Zoo’s Sanctuary Asia habitat from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about Indian rhinos, participate in family-friendly activities, caretaker chats, event-themed photo ops hosted by Bob Moore Subaru and more – all free with regular Zoo admission. The OKC Zoo will also have its one-of-a-kind conservation wristbands available for purchase during the event. Cost per wristband is $2 and all proceeds support the Zoo’s conservation efforts. Guests who can’t attend Rhino Awareness Day in person are encouraged to tune in to Facebook for two special Facebook live chats with our expert caretakers.

The OKC Zoo is home to a group, or “crash”, of Indian rhinos consisting of three females: Shanti, Niki and Yabi. Also known as greater one-horned rhinos, Indian rhinos are listed as vulnerable according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There are five species of rhinos throughout the world including the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, the near threatened White rhino, the critically endangered Javan rhino and the critically endangered Black rhino. The OKC Zoo is proud to participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Program® for Indian rhinos and is committed to the care and conservation of this incredible species. Rhinos are becoming increasingly rare in the wild, and continuous efforts to raise awareness, like celebrating Rhino Awareness Day and special events like Bowling for Rhinos hosted by the OKC Zoo’s chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK), can help this endangered species. Join the OKC Zoo and its AAZK members this summer for its annual Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser here in Oklahoma City, and roll out to support global rhino and habitat conservation. Bowling for Rhinos is a largescale fundraising event that began in 1990 and to date has raised more than $8 million with all proceeds directly benefiting rhino and habitat conservation. The OKC Zoo’s AAZK chapter continues to earn the recognition of “Top Ten Bowling for Rhinos Chapters” and has successfully raised more than $373,000 through its fundraising efforts making it one of the largest contributors to this program.


OKC Zoo Rhino Awareness Day Facts

  1. A rhino's horn is made of keratin, just like our fingernails!
  2. Rhinos are herbivores so they only eat plant material. 
  3. Indian rhinos are good swimmers and love to cool off in the water and mud.
  4. An Indian rhino weighs between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds.
  5. A rhino can run up to 35 mph in short bursts.
  6. The Indian rhino's conservation status is vulnerable. 
  7. Indian rhinos are a conservation success story. Once only numbering 200 individuals, the population has now increased to over 4,000 individuals.
  8. The main threats to wild rhino populations are habitat loss and poaching.
  9. The native habitat of Indian rhinos are floodplain grasslands in Northern India and Nepal. 
  10. There are 5 species of rhino: Black, White, Javan, Sumatran, and Indian. 

The Indian rhino is unique compared to its counterparts as they are just one of two species that possess only one horn. Just as their name suggests, they are found in India and Nepal. The Indian rhino has a thick armored skin that protects the softer skin underneath. They live in floodplain grasslands and adjacent woodlands in northern India and southern Nepal. Indian rhinos are a conservation success story. Thanks to intensive conservation efforts in India and Nepal, the Indian rhino population has increased from less than 200 individuals to over 4,000. OKC Zoo has contributed money from its Round Up for Conservation Fund to the International Rhino Foundation to support ongoing efforts to protect this species. Rhinos are herbivores and will feast on twigs, shrubs, small trees and other foliage in their habitats. Indian rhinos are avid swimmers compared to their African cousins and can often be seen at the Zoo in the pools in their habitat on a hot day.

Guests can meet Indian rhinos Niki, Yabi and Shanti up-close and personal in a variety of unique experiences offered at the OKC Zoo. Happening Thursday through Sunday weekly, guests have the opportunity to feed these gentle giants at 11:30 in their Sanctuary Asia habitat. Want an even more magical experience? Look no further than our Wild Encounter offerings. During the Indian rhino Wild Encounter, guests have the opportunity to enjoy a private behind-the-scenes tour of Sanctuary Asia and hear from our expert caretakers firsthand what it’s like to care for these amazing animals.

Make a ruckus for rhinos and crash to the OKC Zoo for Rhino Awareness Day! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry at 4 p.m. Purchase advance Zoo admission tickets at okczoo.org/tickets and avoid the entry lines. 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 $16 for adults and $13 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.

Stay connected with the Zoo on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Support your love and passion for wildlife and wild places with a ZOOfriends Membership Passport to the OKC Zoo. There’s a membership level for every kind of explorer with amazing benefits plus, you are supporting the OKC Zoo, its animals, programs and conservation efforts. Memberships can be purchased at okczoo.org/membership.