Take part in this special day’s happenings dedicated to raising awareness for critically endangered orangutans, enjoy family-friendly activities, animal enrichment, caretaker chats and more.


Friday, August 19, marks the annual global occurrence, International Orangutan Day, and to celebrate the Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru are inviting guests to participate in a variety of activities that highlight critically endangered orangutans and the importance of helping protect this well-loved species in the wild and its habitat. Presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru, event activities are set to take place at the Zoo’s Great EscApe habitat home to its pair of Sumatran orangutans, male, Elok, 21, and female, Negara, 28.

              International Orangutan Day activities will occur from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Zoo’s Great EscApe habitat area and include a kids’ interactive handout with prizes, animal and conservation information stations, caretaker chats, Facebook Live videos, event-themed photo ops hosted by Bob Moore Subaru and more—all free with regular Zoo admission. The Zoo also hopes to inspire orangutan fans to make orangutan-friendly choices when shopping by using Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s and World Association of Zoos and Aquariums PalmOil Scan app. By downloading this app, users can scan a product’s barcode to ensure their choices are made with sustainably sourced palm oil by companies that are committed to sustainable palm oil practices, which helps safeguard orangutans and their habitat. The new PalmOil app is available for download from the App Store, Google Play Store and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s website.

All three species of orangutans, Sumatran, Bornean and Tapanuli, are listed as critically endangered in the wild. Globally, 60 percent of primate species are now threatened with extinction and 75 percent have declining populations. This condition exists because of extensive habitat loss, increased bushmeat hunting, and illegal trade. The OKC Zoo is playing an increasingly critical role in saving wildlife, including orangutans. In 2016 and 2017, the Zoo partnered with Rainforest Trust to protect forest in Sumatra and Borneo, which provides habitat for orangutans and many other endangered species. Additionally, the OKC Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)’s Species Survival Plan®(SSP) for orangutans to help sustain their population. SSPs are collaborative population management programs of select species within AZA zoos and aquariums. The Zoo’s commitment to orangutan conservation also continues through its support of AZA’s Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) awareness program for orangutans. SAFE programs focus on protecting threatened species by developing recovery plans, partnering with AZA and conservation stakeholders and implementing strategic conservation and engagement initiatives. 

OKC Zoo proudly cares for two Sumatran orangutans, Negara and Elok. Negara arrived at the OKC Zoo in 2017 from the Perth Zoo in Australia as part of a breeding recommendation through the AZA to be paired with Elok who has resided at the Zoo since 2008.


International Orangutan Day Facts:

  1. Orangutans are the largest arboreal (tree-dwelling) animal in the world.
  2. The orangutan is the only great ape from Asia. The other apes—gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos—are from Africa.
  3. Orangutans can have an arm span up to 7 feet long.
  4. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certifies and promotes sustainable palm oil. OKC Zoo is an RSPO member.
  5. Orangutans are the only solitary ape.
  6. Orangutans are very intelligent. They are known for making and using simple tools.
  7. Orangutans are an umbrella species—by protecting orangutans we protect hundreds of other species living in the same habitat.
  8. Orangutans are critically endangered because of habitat loss and the pet trade.
  9. Unsustainable palm oil production is the leading cause of habitat loss for orangutans.
  10. You can help orangutans by downloading the Palm Oil Scan app and using it to purchase products made with sustainable palm oil.

Swing by the OKC Zoo for all the fun happening this International Orangutan Day! Continuing through Friday, September 2, the Oklahoma City Zoo is in its summer hours and open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the last entry no later than 2 p.m. While at the Zoo, connect to wildlife and tons of fun as you experience the all new BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise. 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. Purchase advance tickets for general Zoo admission and BRICKLIVE at www.okczoo.org/tickets. 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 FacebookTwitterInstagram 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.