The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is pleased to announce the promotion of Holly Ray, as curator of birds. Ray will oversee all the OKC Zoo’s many species of birds, while managing day-to-day operations and supporting the Zoo’s conservation efforts and programs pertaining to the endangered species in her care.
Ray graduated from Oklahoma City University with a bachelor's degree in biology. Shortly after, she began her career at the OKC Zoo as an animal area volunteer until accepting a part-time position with the Zoo’s marine animals. In 2008, Ray began working with the bird department and has continued her professional commitment to this animal area ever since. Ray’s dedication and experience has prepared her for success in her new role as the Zoo’s curator of birds.
“Birds are fascinating creatures and at the OKC Zoo we have the privilege of caring for and helping conserve some incredibly unique species,” said Ray. “A favorite part of my job is sharing news of the Zoo’s avian conservation breeding programs and inspiring others to help.”
Ray is very passionate about flamingos and the future of these beloved birds. In 2019, the OKC Zoo provided emergency funds from its Round Up for Conservation program and sent Ray to support a global crisis effort, providing life-saving animal care for over 1,800 lesser flamingo chicks that were abandoned in South Africa. Ray’s years of experience combined with her expertise in caring for and hand-rearing flamingos proved invaluable to this effort and the successful rescue of these birds. The OKC Zoo is home to both Chilean and American flamingos with habitats for these species found in the Zoo’s Children’s Zoo and its newest expansion, Expedition Africa, opening soon.
Through her professional affiliation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Ray serves as the program coordinator for the Species Survival Plan® for Chilean Flamingos. She sits on the steering committee for the AZA’s SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program for Andean Highland Flamingos and the Tag Steering Committee for CP&P (Ciconiiforms, Pheonicopteriformes, and Pelecaniformes) also through the AZA. As Curator of Birds, Ray will continue to elevate the Zoo’s standards to provide the highest quality of care and wellbeing for its entire animal family through innovative thinking, collaboration and research.
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, Threads and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Looking for a year of Zoo adventures? Consider a 12-month, ZOOfriends Membership Passport to the OKC Zoo providing general admission year-round and exclusive offers while supporting the Zoo’s ongoing animal care and conservation programs. Memberships can be purchased at okczoo.org/membership.