The Zoo is welcoming three cheetah brothers to its animal family, the first of many species being welcomed ahead of Expedition Africa opening.
Guests visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden will be able to see the newest members of our animal family, three male cheetahs. The 2-year-old brothers, Jabari, Hasani and Erindi, recently arrived at the OKC Zoo from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. The OKC Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for cheetahs and serves as a non-breeding home in support of the SSP.
With the arrival of Jabari (Jah-baree), Swahili for “fearless” or “brave one,” Hasani (Has-anee), Swahili for “handsome,” and Erindi (Er-indee) named for a protected reserve in Namibia, Africa, where many cheetahs are rereleased, the OKC Zoo will be home to two coalitions of cheetahs. The Zoo’s Predator Pass habitat will house our three new bachelors along with current cheetah brothers, Boomer and Pete, 6.
“Our carnivore team is thrilled to welcome Jabari, Hasani and Erindi ahead of the opening of Expedition Africa” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo’s curator of carnivores. “We have a long-standing history of conserving and protecting cheetahs and we are excited to connect our fans with not only this amazing species, but even more African wildlife.”
Cheetahs inhabit a broad area of Africa including North Africa, the Sahel and in parts of eastern and southern Africa. Cheetahs are known as the fastest land mammal and can reach top speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour. Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), cheetahs are threatened by human-wildlife conflict, the illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss and loss of prey. In addition to supporting AZA’s SSP, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the AZA’s SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction program for cheetahs, a collaborative network, partnering to build capacity to increase direct conservation spending as well as AZA members’ impact on saving species through work in the field, in our zoos and aquariums and through public engagement.
The OKC Zoo is excited to have these iconic African predators join its animal family as it continues to connect Oklahomans with wildlife and wild places from around the world. With the opening of Expedition Africa this summer, the Zoo will welcome several other new species from the African continent. Expedition Africa, is a 12-acre habitat in the heart of the Zoo that features diverse environments, unique guest experiences and over 60 species of mammals, reptiles, fish and birds. This premier habitat highlights a new state-of-the-art giraffe barn, offering indoor viewing areas of our giraffe herd, and a complete reimagining of the historic pachyderm building, whose iconic mid-century exterior will be preserved while the inside is transformed into a multi-use space for animal habitats and private events.
Dash out to the Zoo to see our new cheetahs! The Oklahoma City Zoo 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.
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