As the temperatures climb, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is helping its animal family “chill out” during a special enrichment day on Thursday, July 4, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zoo guests will have the chance to see some of the OKC Zoo’s wildlife enjoying bubbles, mud, wallows, and more fun in the sun prepared for them by caretakers.

“Enrichment is part of the daily lives of the animals in our care,” said OKC Zoo’s Behavioral Husbandry and Welfare Manager, Kimberly Leser. “Caretakers are always looking for ways for animals to engage with their surroundings and enhance their quality of life by participating in species-specific behaviors like foraging and exploration.”

Themed, seasonal enrichment days are a chance to go above and beyond with special treats, new scents, and animal-approved toys, she said.

“We want to encourage them to use their natural abilities. Plus, it’s a fun way to bring guests closer to the animal family we love so much,” Leser said.

OKC Zoo’s Summer Animal Enrichment Event Schedule

9 a.m.: Zebras (Predator Pass)

9:45 a.m.: Asian elephants (Sanctuary Asia)

10:30 a.m.: African painted dogs (Predator Pass)

11:15 a.m.: Western lowland gorillas (Great EscApe)

Noon: Cichlids (Love’s Pachyderm Building)

1 p.m.: Galapagos tortoises (Children’s Zoo)

2 p.m.: Cassowary (Sanctuary Asia)

Zoo guests who arrive early will also receive a free water bottle courtesy of Shape Your Future, a program of TSET, while supplies last. One thousand water bottles will be given away beginning at 9 a.m. as guests enter the park.

This event is free with Zoo admission. The July 4 enrichment event schedule will be posted in the entry plaza and on the Zoo’s Facebook page. Guests will have an opportunity to talk with Zoo caretakers to learn more about the enrichment program.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Through Labor Day, Monday, September 2, the Zoo is open daily at 8:30 a.m. for ZOOfriends with current memberships. Purchase advance Zoo admission tickets at 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, and Oklahoma City’s Adventure District. Zoo 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.

Membership has its perks! As a ZOOfriends 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 both locally and globally. Join or renew today at  

Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, X, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit