Live look at Lion Overlook offers virtual safari, opportunity to view two iconic African species
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s latest animal cam provides wildlife fans around the globe with exclusive views of two of different species: African lions and African painted dogs. Click on the Zoo’s new African Lion/Painted Dog cam at www.okczoo.org/lioncam from your computer, phone and tablet to spot these iconic African savanna animals at the Zoo. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy a real time look at the Zoo’s popular Lion Overlook habitat home to its lion pride and where the Zoo’s pack of African painted dogs are currently residing while their brand-new habitat is being constructed. The painted dogs rotate days on habitat with the lions. Depending upon the day, cam viewers will have an opportunity to see the Zoo’s lions or pack of painted dogs, it’s the best way to safari-fy your day!
“We are very excited to provide guests with an opportunity to view our African lions or African painted dogs in our Lion Overlook habitat as we prepare for the opening of our new African painted dog and cheetah habitat this summer,” said Tyler Boyd, Oklahoma City Zoo’s curator of carnivores. “Our painted dog pack has adjusted very well to this new space and we’ve been able to see lots of exciting, natural behaviors from this group as they reside in this new environment.”
Now through Tuesday, August 31, 2021, Zoo fans can watch the African lion/Painted dog cam live stream at www.okczoo.org/lioncam with optimal viewing from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. of either the lions or painted dogs.
Lion Overlook is home to the Zoo’s lion pride including sisters, Dunia and Moto, 5, and male, Hubert, 9. Dunia and Moto, arrived at the Zoo in 2018 from Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon to be paired with Hubert as part of a breeding recommendation made by AZA’s African Lion Species Survival Plan™ (SSP). SSP programs oversee the population management of select species within AZA member zoos and aquariums.
The most social of all cats, lions live in groups called a pride that average about 15 members, but can range from 3 to 40. Females usually live with the same pride for life, but males often leave when they’re a few years old. African lions are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature with wild populations decreasing due to illegal hunting, habitat loss and loss of food sources.
For a cat’s eye view of Hubert, Dunia and Moto on the cam, look at the habitat’s hilltop, a favorite location enjoyed by all three lions.
African painted dogs have been part of the Zoo’s animal family since 1972. Our pack of five painted dogs consists of matriarch, Xena, 9, her mate, Dojo, 9, and their three offspring Tex, Back Slash and Spot, who are four years old. African painted dogs are known for their unique coat markings of yellow, black, brown, white and tan and large round ears. Starting in 2017, the Zoo partnered with the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) to provide financial support from its Round Up for Conservation Fund for their mission and to send Zoo experts to assist in the organization’s field work. The PDRT is dedicated to the conservation of the highly endangered African painted dog, formerly known as the African wild dog. It’s estimated that fewer than 7,000 painted dogs remain in the wild.
The Zoo’s new African painted dog habitat, slated to open later this summer, will be located on the west side of the park near the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital and will also include habitat space for cheetah.
No lion, you will go wild for the Zoo’s new Lion Overlook cam! Beginning Saturday, May 29, and continuing through Labor Day, Monday, September 6, the Oklahoma City Zoo opens at 8 a.m. daily. Take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures as you explore the park this summer. The Zoo will close daily at 5 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at www.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 $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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram 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.