The Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS), a partner and supporter of the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, has kicked off a T-shirt fundraising effort in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Three new limited-edition shirts, designed by Insight Creative Group (ICG) and produced through Oklahoma Shirt Company, are available now as a part of a larger “Love Your Zoo” campaign, created to directly support the OKC Zoo during its unexpected closure.
Like many other businesses within the community, the OKC Zoo has been closed since mid-March and will remain so until further guidance from federal, state and local health officials allows for reopening. However, with more than 1,100 animals in residence, life within the Zoo must go on, and dedicated staff continue to feed and provide the highest quality of care for the Zoo’s animal family. At this time, it is more important than ever for Zoo fans to show their support.
“We’re hoping that the community will want to proudly wear their love for the Oklahoma City Zoo,” Matt Burkholder, director of development for OZS, said. “The OKC Zoo is closed to the public, but the animal residents continue to squawk, prowl, leap, swim and hop thanks to the dedication of the wonderful animal and veterinary care teams.”
The new T-shirt designs not only feature some of the animal species that call the OKC Zoo home, but also display a friendly reminder to practice social distancing and safe hygiene during this uncertain time.
“We wanted to create something fun that people could buy as a way to support their zoo, even while not being able to visit,” Matt Farley, business development executive for ICG, said. “While this isn’t the same as seeing a real-life lion at the Zoo, it’s a great way to get us through a difficult time. These animals could all teach us a thing or two about washing our hands, keeping a safe distance and hunkering down.”
The Oklahoma Zoological Society’s new “Love Your Zoo” campaign is an opportunity for the community to continue to engage with and support the OKC Zoo, despite its temporary closure. Along with these custom shirts, fans have opportunities to donate to the OKC Zoo’s highest needs, purchase or renew ZOOfriends memberships, download “OKC ZOOm” backgrounds intended to make virtual meetings a little wilder, and more. All ZOOfriends memberships purchased or renewed during this time will be extended the length of the Zoo’s closure to the public.
T-shirts are $20 for youth/toddler sizes and $25 for adults, and are available at zoofriends.org/loveyourzoo. For more information on how to donate, or to renew your membership, visit zoofriends.org/loveyourzoo.