news 3 days ago

It's World Turtle Day and the OKC Zoo is celebrating

The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City — Brandy McDonnell The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

May 23-- May 23--Today is World Turtle Day, and the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating.

Guests with reservations for the Outdoor Safari Walk, the zoo's all-outdoor, modified trail through the park, are invited to participate in the day's activities through 3:30 p.m.

Presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru, activities include a special scavenger safari for kids, bio-facts, animal ambassadors and photo opportunities.

Plus, the zoo is sharing a series of live "turtle talks" on Facebook until 11:30 a.m. today focusing on turtle conservation -- and how you can help.

Visitors have the opportunity to purchase a turtle conservation wristband, the newest design in the Zoo's series of animal-themed wristbands. These turtle-y awesome wristbands are available for purchase at the stroller window located in the zoo's entry plaza. Cost is $2 per wristband with all proceeds supporting the zoo's conservation initiatives.

World Turtle Day, established in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue, brings global awareness to the importance of protecting our world's turtles and tortoises and their native habitats. These amazing animals have roamed our planet for 200 million years, yet global turtle populations are rapidly declining due to threats from the exotic pet trade, hunting and habitat destruction. The OKC Zoo is home to 26 vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered species of turtles, according to a news release.

The World Turtle Day scavenger safari (for kids 11 and younger) encourages kids to find six species of turtles while exploring the Outdoor Safari Walk trail and correctly determine their conservation status using the information posted at their habitats. Scavenger safari cards are available from zoo team members at the start of the Safari Walk trail.

The shellebration continues with live turtle talks on World Turtle Day hosted by the zoo's turtle experts. Join in on Facebook for the following live talks to learn more about the Zoo's turtles and the efforts we are taking to protect wild populations and habitats: 10:30 a.m. (Central American River Turtle) and 11:30 a.m. (Burmese Brown, Black and Star Tortoises). Plus, check out the information posted earlier today about Galapagos Tortoises:

The OKC Zoo is a conservation partner of the Turtle Survival Alliance and actively supports the organization's goal of zero turtle extinctions. With projects in turtle hot spots around the world, including Belize, Madagascar, India, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the TSA is a recognized force for turtle conservation globally. Efforts are specific to the area, the local issues, and the turtle species. TSA has also established the Turtle Survival Center, a large breeding center in South Carolina. The center is home to 600 turtles representing 32 of the world's most critically endangered species.

The Zoo is open daily and taking online reservations for its Outdoor Safari Walk, which takes guests on a modified pathway through the park to view a majority of the Zoo's outdoor animal habitats. Online reservations are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members wanting to experience the Outdoor Safari Walk and limited each day to ensure adequate social distancing between guests. Zoo hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Outdoor Safari Walk reservations will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily

Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the 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 older. Children 2 and younger are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at To learn more about these and other happenings, call visit



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