Nationwide voting to determine if OKC Zoo earns the distinction of being named America’s BEST ZOO and Oklahoma Trails, BEST ZOO EXHIBIT! Voting is live through Monday, March 6, 2023.


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden recently earned the honor of being nominated for USA Today 10Best 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards in two categories, Best Zoo and Best Zoo Exhibit, Oklahoma Trails, and we are calling on you to help us win! OKC Zoo fans near and far are encouraged to show their support and vote daily for both of the Zoo’s award nominations, Best Zoo and Best Zoo Exhibit, Oklahoma Trails, through Monday, March 6. Vote by vote, we can move the OKC Zoo to the top of both leaderboards to become America’s best! Cast your votes for the OKC Zoo and Oklahoma Trails here:





“It’s an incredible honor to be nominated for this year’s 10Best awards,” said Dwight Lawson, OKC Zoo’s executive director/CEO. “Achieving accolades of this caliber would not be possible without the continuous support of all those who visit and care about the OKC Zoo and, of course, vote for us to achieve this top ranking.”

OKC Zoo is Oklahoma’s largest attended cultural attraction, providing opportunities for millions of visitors to connect with wildlife and wild places through world-class habitats and engaging experiences in hopes to inspire conservation action. The Zoo continues to propel exiting growth in all areas including its animal family, commitment to conservation and habitat developments. In 2022, the Zoo celebrated several significant births including three critically endangered species – an Asian elephant calf, Sumatran tiger twins and an okapi calf. Plus, the arrival of four African lion cubs, the first litter born at the Zoo in 15 years, and a chimpanzee infant. Round Up for Conservation, the Zoo’s grassroot program that encourages guests to round up their purchases to the next dollar amount in support of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives, has successfully raised over a million dollars since the program launched in 2011. Construction is nearing completion for Expedition Africa, the Zoo’s latest and largest habitat expansion in its history, slated to open this summer. This enhanced habitat will provide a new home for animals native to the African continent such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, honey badger, hyena, meerkat, and more, while offering new and memorable wildlife experiences for guests to enjoy.

Nominated for Best Zoo Exhibit, Oklahoma Trails opened in 2007 and is a favorite destination among OKC Zoo guests to experience. Spanning eight acres, Oklahoma Trails is an immersive, naturalistic habitat where guests can discover the diverse species of animals native to Oklahoma. The habitat is designed to highlight the 11 distinct life zones unique to the Sooner State and the incredible wildlife that call these regions home including alligator, bison, black bear, coyote, elk, mountain lions, rattlesnake, sandhill crane, turkey vulture and more. Grizzly bear brothers, Will and Wiley (20), are two of Oklahoma Trails most well-known ambassadors. The brother bears were orphaned in the Alaska wilderness as cubs and arrived at the Zoo in 2003. This year, we are celebrating two decades of caring for these beloved bears and marking the occasion with a special event this summer.

Participants can vote once a day in each category for the run of the contest. Readers’ Choice Award voting ends Monday, March 6, 2023 and the winners will be announced on 10Best on Friday, March 17. 

The Oklahoma City Zoo is in its winter hours and open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m., and closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Wednesday, February 8. Purchase advance tickets for general admission at 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. Support your love and passion for wildlife and wild places with a ZOOfriends Membership Passport to the OKC Zoo. There’s a membership level for every kind of explorer with amazing benefits plus, you are supporting the OKC Zoo, its animals, programs and conservation efforts. Memberships can be purchased at

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