Spring kicks off the first of the Zoo’s seasonal celebrations for its animal family and guests to enjoy

Seasons change but the exceptional care our animal family receives never stops! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden will celebrate the changing seasons with special enrichment events throughout 2021, beginning with a spring enrichment event on Friday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The enrichment activities will be viewable to Zoo guests, featuring many of the Zoo’s popular animals.

“Stimulating the animals by creating unique situations they would encounter in the wild is something the Zoo’s animal caretakers work extremely hard at,” said Kimberly Leser, the Zoo’s behavioral husbandry and welfare manager. “We have several special, enriching experiences in store for our animal family as part of this enrichment event series.”

Enrichment is the action of improving or enhancing the quality or experience of something the animal encounters. Animal caretakers at the Zoo use enrichment to enhance the quality of an animal’s habitat. Zoo guests may have seen caretakers add toys, feeders, ice treats or scents to encourage our animals’ natural abilities, ensuring they have different opportunities throughout the day. The Zoo’s Spring Animal Enrichment Event will be held on Friday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the Zoo to celebrate the spring season. The event will focus around scent-based enrichment, created by Zoo caretakers. Animals will put their noses, trunks, snouts and beaks to the test to discover new scented items and treats, including flowers, spices and even other animal scents. This event kicks off the Zoo’s seasonal enrichment celebrations.

The Spring Animal Enrichment Event schedule is as follows:

  • 10 a.m.               Small Cat Species (Small Cat building, Cat Forest and Chimpanzees (Great EscApe)
  • 10:30 a.m.         Red River Hogs (Giraffe Loop)
  • 11 a.m.                 California Sea Lions (Sea Lion Habitat)
  • 11:30 a.m.         Stingray Bay
  • NOON                   BREAK
  • 1 p.m.                 Komodo Dragons (Sanctuary Asia)
  • 1:30 p.m.           Andean Condors and Cinerous Vultures (Raptor Ridge)
  • 2 p.m.                 Asian Elephants (Sanctuary Asia/Elephant Presentation Pavilion)

Guests will also have an opportunity to talk with the Zoo’s expert team members to learn more about the Zoo’s enrichment program. This event is free with Zoo admission. Handouts with the Spring Enrichment Event schedule will be available at the Zoo’s Guest Services and ZOOfriends offices in the entry plaza. The schedule will also be available on the Zoo’s Facebook page.

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 each day 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.