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10th Annual Endangered Species Day

Endangered Species DayMay 15, 2015 is the 10th annual Endangered Species Day.  According to the National Wildlife Federation, this day is “to celebrate endangered species success stories and learn about species still in danger.” It is always held on the third Friday of May.

In America, over 1,300 plants and animals are listed as either endangered (at risk of becoming extinct) or threatened (close to becoming endangered). Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, a species can be listed when its natural habitat is threatened, it has been exploited by humans, or its number is decreasing due to illness, manmade causes, or natural predators. In some instances, other factors may also cause a species to be listed.

Of the 1,300 listed nationally, 12 animals and one plant, labeled as endangered, are found in Oklahoma, either seasonally (during migration periods) or year around. Nine different animals and two plants are also listed threatened. Three additional animals, while not recognized as endangered or threatened at the federal level, are recognized at the state level with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.


The Oklahoma City Zoo is hosting an Endangered Species Day event from 10:00am – 2:00pm on May 15. For more information visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org. You can find more information about endangered species in Oklahoma here: U.S Fish and Wildlife Services Endangered Species.

Holiday Happenings at the OKC Zoo

The Oklahoma City Zoo (OKC Zoo) has many great holiday events going on this month. The OKC Zoo is a wonderful place for some family fun this winter and it just got even better, every Monday in December, January, and February admission to the Zoo is free! This is a great way to take advantage of all of the mild winter days we have been having.

On Saturday, December 10th from 9 to 11:30 a.m., you can take advantage of another great event at the Zoo, the Wreath Making Class. You will learn to create a holiday wreath using plants grown on Zoo grounds. This event is for ages 16 and up and the cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. You do need to enroll for this event.

If you are looking for something to do with younger kids be sure to go to the Zoo on Monday, December 12 from 11 a.m. to noon. Santa will be stopping by to deliver holiday goodies to his animal friends. Guest will also be able to enjoy hot chocolate and doughnuts, while supplies last. This activity is free and doesn’t require a reservation.


On December 21st from 9 a.m. to noon kids ages 6-12 yeas can come to the Zoo to make tasty presents for their pets and shelter animals. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members and you need to enroll. For more information or to enroll for this class and/or the wreath making class, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczooed.com.

Another great thing going on at the Zoo right now is the Wild Wish Tree. With the Wild Wish Tree you can help your favorite animal friends at the zoo. At the ZooFriends office there is a tree decorated with ornaments bearing descriptions of the items the Zoo residents need. There is a wide range for price, they start at just under $1. Some of the items include:

  • Paper lunch sacks for raccoons and Children’s Zoo animals ($3 at area stores, multiple bags needed.)
  • Un-popped popcorn for birds and primates ($2 at grocery stores, unlimited quantities needed)
  • Perfume or cologne for cats, giraffes, primates, zebra, bears and okapi ($5 at grocery and drug stores,unlimited quantities)
  • Puppy pools for raptors ($10 at pet stores)
  • Litter boxes for owls ($5 at area stores, 3 needed)
  • Specialty toys like boomer balls for elephants, rhinos, pygmy hippos, and golden lion tamarins (range from $7 to $365 at www.boomerball.com)
  • Gift cards for every department from stores like Home Depot, Lowes, WalMart, Target and Petsmart in any denomination (unlimited quantities).

The complete list can be found by clicking here. The presents may be dropped off during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Donations will be accepted through December 31st, 2011. For more information call (405) 425-0262.

If you are looking for gifts for your human friends and family be sure to check out the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop, which even includes some great eco-friendly gifts. ZooFriends will get a 25% discount (on non-sale items) at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop from December 1st through 31st.

Another eco-friendly gift is a ZooFriends membership. ZooFriends receive:

  • Unlimited Zoo admission for one year
  • Discounted membership to nationwide zoos
  • Members ONLY entrance
  • Quarterly members-only newsletter, ZooSounds
  • 10% discount at Zoo gift shop and concessions
  • 10% discount on Zoo Education classes
  • 25% discount to Zoo Buddy Shop
  • Exclusive ZooFriends “Capture the Wild” calendar
  • Invitations to Family Fun Night and special events

Renew before January will receive $5 off any gift, new or renewal membership purchased now through December 31st. (Excludes minor and adult membership levels).

For more news and events from the Oklahoma City Zoo be sure to visit their website www.okczoo.com.

 


About the Author

 

Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

 

Rare Sumatran Tigers Born at the OKC Zoo

Photo credit: Lisa Lee

On July 9, 2011 the Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed four Sumatran tiger cubs. This is the first time Sumatran tigers have been born at the zoo. The cub’s parents are mom Suriya (suh-rye-uh) and dad Raguno (ruh-goon-oh). There are three females; Leeloo, Lola, and Lucy, and one male, Leonidas (lee-oh-nie-duhs). Mom and the cubs are doing well and can be seen in the Cat Forest exhibit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting.

These births are very important as there are less than 300 estimated to be living in the wild. Sumatran tigers were being well researched but due to political unrest in Indonesia many researchers have been forced to flee. Thankfully, things have improved and much of the research is underway again.

Photo Credit: Leno Kofoed

The Sumatran tiger is the last Indonesian tiger species. Two others have gone extinct, the Bali and Javan tigers. The last observations of the Bali tiger were in the late 1930’s and the Javan tiger was last recorded in 1976. In an effort to protect the Sumatran tiger from suffering the same fate, the World Wildlife Federation and other groups successfully lobbied to have Tesso Nilo, an important Sumatran tiger habitat, declared a National Park.

Photo Credit: Scott Jackson


You can help save the remaining wild Sumatran tigers by purchasing the new Save Vanishing Species stamps, which are available at Post Offices nationwide, USPS.com and the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop (while supplies last). They are 55 cents- 11 cents greater than a First Class mail stamp. The net proceeds will directly go to helping save species like tigers, elephants, rhinos, great apes, and turtles.

You can help the Oklahoma City Zoo continue their conservation programs by visiting the zoo. You can also make donations to the zoo by visiting their website- www.okczoo.com.

 


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

 


Disneynature’s African Cats


Disneynature started in 2008 and on Earth Day 2009 released their first movie, Earth. Earth is a stunning look at the planet we live on and the many plants and animals we share it with. Last Earth Day they released Oceans, which takes you on a journey through the world’s many oceans. And this Earth Day they released their latest film, African Cats. African Cats follows a young lion cub named Mara and her mother, Layla, and Fang, a pride leader. As well as Sita, a mother cheetah raising five newborn cubs.

These films are meant to help bring a part of nature we otherwise wouldn’t see to the big screen. Keith Scholey, one of the film’s directors, feels the film helps teach us lessons. “The first most import thing is, I think, to value nature, you have to experience these animals in a way that really excites you. That you really get to understand how beautiful they are but also their way of life but more the challenges wild animals have to face to be able to succeed in the wilderness… I think after than what happens after that is you say build up a sense of value for the animals. And value is the starting point of anything that follows in term of conservation.”

African Cats is playing in theaters all over Oklahoma, to find a theater near you click here. If you see the movie before April 28th, Disneynature will donate a portion of your ticket cost to the African Wildlife Foundation for the Amboseli Corridor project.

 



About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

 

OKC Zoo Welcomes Baby Elephant

On April 15th, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden welcomed their first baby elephant born in the zoo. The elephant is the baby of Asha, a 16 year old Asian elephant and a 39 year old Asian elephant that resides at the Tulsa Zoo, named Sneezy.

The new baby elephant is a healthy 304 pound female. Baby, mom and aunt are currently off display while they get to know each other. You can give the new mom and baby a gift by checking out the elephant registry. Prices for the gifts range from $5 and up. Some items include: Boomer Balls, Blow Up Pools, Home Depot Gift Cards, Lowe’s Gift Cards, Target Gift Cards and several other items which you can find on the zoo’s website. The gifts can be dropped off during regular office hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gifts are tax deductible.

There is one more very important thing the new baby needs, she needs a name. The zoo wants your help naming this new baby. You can vote on the website and the name will be announced on Mother’s Day. The choices are:


Malee: Pronounced “MAY-lee,” this is the Thai name for “flower” or “jasmine.” This name is the keeper’s choice, meaning it’s their personal favorite!

Annika: Pronounced “AH-nik-uh,” is a Dutch name that means “favor” or “grace.”

Hanako: Prononced, “HAH-nuh-koh,” is Japanese for “flower girl.”

Be sure to go vote and watch for updates on the baby elephant on the zoo’s Facebook page.

 


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

 

Photo credit: Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden