Join us in trumpeting for a great cause! Saturday, August 12, is World Elephant Day and the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is inviting guests to join in on the fun and learn all about endangered Asian elephants, their habitat and how you can help protect elephants for future generations.
The Asian elephant is an endangered species at risk of extinction due to habitat destruction, human-elephant conflict and poaching for tusks and skin. Elephant fans around the world are coming together on World Elephant Day to raise awareness to the issues threatening elephants and their habitat. Presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru, World Elephant Day will be held throughout the Zoo’s Sanctuary Asia habitat from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering a full schedule of event activities:
- Interactive Kids Activities: Learn all about the Zoo’s herd of Asian elephants through an activity card, an interactive spinning wheel and plinko game!
- Facebook Live Caretaker Chats at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. check them out here, Facebook.
- Story time with an elephant caretaker at 11:30 a.m. in the Inasmuch Elephant Presentation Pavilion at Sanctuary Asia.
- #AsianElephantAwarenessMonth: Write a message to our herd of elephants for them to enjoy during the 2 p.m. enrichment presentation. Show your love on social media for Asian elephants by posting photos, tagging @okczoo and using #AsianElephantAwarenessMonth.
- Sustainable Palm Oil Pledge: Learn all about the importance of purchasing items made by companies with sustainable palm oil practices. Download the PalmOil Scan app and show our caretakers to be entered to win an OKC Zoo Asian elephant Wild Encounter!
- Elephant enrichment presentation at the Inasmuch Elephant Pavilion at 2 p.m.
All World Elephant Day activities are free with regular Zoo admission.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Asian elephants are an endangered species and face multiple threats to their populations. Asian elephants live in a very densely populated part of the world and have lost over 90% of their historical habitat due to human expansion and farming of palm oil. Palm oil is a vegetable oil that is found in many household products including shampoo, cosmetics as well as of our favorite foods. Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil. It’s important not to boycott the product, because it is the most efficient, requiring less land than other types of vegetable oil. Instead, the OKC Zoo encourages everyone to make good choices and purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. The OKC Zoo is a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which develops and implements global standards for producing and sourcing sustainable palm oil. Elephant and wildlife fans are encouraged to download the PalmOil scan app at https://bit.ly/WAZAPalmOilApp and scan the barcode of products when shopping to see if companies are members of the RSPO and committed to sustainable palm oil. The app is supported throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.
WORLD ELEPHANT DAY FACTS
- There are no bones in an elephant’s trunk. The trunk is made up of thousands of muscles and ligaments making it extremely flexible.
- Elephants use mud to protect their skin from sun and bug bites.
- The gestation period for elephants is 22 months, meaning they are pregnant for almost two years!
- Elephants can cool their bodies down just by flapping their ears.
- Elephants only sweat between their toes.
- The greatest threats to Asian elephants are habitat loss and human-elephant conflict.
- EEHV is a virus that can be lethal to elephant calves. All elephants in the wild and in human care carry EEHV.
- Asian elephants have lost over 90% of their historical habitat in Asia.
- The OKC Zoo is conducting elephant research in Sri Lanka to assist in developing management strategies to reduce human-elephant conflict.
- You can help preserve elephant habitat by shopping for products that use sustainable palm oil. Use the app PalmOil Scan when shopping.
The OKC Zoo is home to a herd of eight Asian elephants – males Rex (54), Asha (28), Chandra (27), Kandula (21), Bowie (10), Achara (8), Kairavi (4), and young calf, Rama (18 months). Guests can see the Zoo’s elephant herd at Sanctuary Asia. Want an even more magical experience? Look no further than our Wild Encounter offerings. During the Asian elephant 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.
Put your best “trunk” forward and help save Asian elephants! 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 Facebook, X, Instagram, Linktree 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. These 12-month memberships provide general admission year-round and exclusive offers while supporting the Zoo’s ongoing animal care and conservation efforts. Memberships can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/membership.