Zoo History Oklahoma City Zoo

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Zoo History Oklahoma City Zoo Powered By Docstoc
					                        A CAPSULE HISTORY OF THE OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO
                        & BOTANICAL GARDEN

1904   Zoo opened at Wheeler              well as picnic shelters
       Park as small                      and roadways.              1954   Friends of the Zoo
       menagerie. First zoo in     1947   “Uncle Leo” dies of               founded to raise money
       Southwest. First animal            pneumonia. Julian                 for the purchase of
       acquired was a deer                Frazier from the Ft.              animals for the Zoo.
       fawn.                              Worth Zoo hired as new
                                          Director.                  1959   Julian Frazier resigns.
1909   City of Oklahoma City                                                Dr. Warren Thomas
       purchases 600 acres for     1949   Judy the Elephant                 replaces him.
       Lincoln Park.                      acquired through
       Collection consists of             "Children's Pennies for    1961   Rotary Club donates
       125 animals.                       a New Elephant"                   money for an animal
                                          campaign.                         nursery.
1923   Zoo moved to State Fair
       Grounds (now site of        1950   Leapy the Leopard                 Bond issue passed to
       Douglass High School)              escapes. Captured three           build a Pachyderm
       because of devastating             days later after eating           Building, kitchen
       flood in Wheeler Park.             drugged horsemeat.                facilities, and a 45-acre
                                          However, he died the              ungulate area.
1924   Fire razes Lincoln Park.           next day due to
                                          overdosage. Five-page      1962   Friends of the Zoo
1925   Reconstruction begins at           coverage appears in Life          reorganized as the
       Lincoln Park on 17                 magazine.                         Oklahoma Zoological
       acres and Zoo moved to                                               Society.
       this site.                  1950's Completion of a new
                                          sea lion exhibit funded    1960's Florence O. Wilson
1930   First Zoo Director, Leo            by Sertoma Club;                  Zoological Library and
       Blondin (“Uncle Leo”)              Primate and Giraffe               Education Department
       hired.                             building completed.               established. Ungulate
                                                                            area and pachyderm
1933   Under WPA, the CCC          1953   Matilda the                       building also
       begins program to                  Hippopotamus acquired             established. Leadership
       construct the Zoo                  through a campaign                of OZS taken over by
       Amphitheater.                      featuring Gayla                   John E. Kirkpatrick.
                                          Peevey's song, "I Want a
1935   WPA approves major                 Hippopotamus for           1964   Dr. Thomas resigns.
       expenditures for Zoo.              Christmas".                       Replaced by Dr. Phillip
1938   WPA turns projects over            Leapy’s mate escapes
       to the City. Completed             and is shot and killed     1965   Zoo established as a
       are the bear, cat, and             within hours as she               separate department
       ungulate exhibits, as              attempts to leave zoo             within the City; no
                                          grounds.                          longer a part of the

       Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                       Page 1
       Parks and Recreation             Lion Marmoset. In            1972   Condor Cliffs and Pata-
       Department.                      recognition, the Golden             gonia exhibits opened.
                                        Lion Marmoset was
       Admission fee initiated          designated as the Zoo’s             Junior Hospitality Club
       at the Oklahoma City             symbol.                             grants funds for mini-
       Zoo.                                                                 aquarium.
                                 1970   Shepherd House (first
       C.W. Richardson                  two-story territorial               Fredrieka, the Zoo’s
       Children's Zoo opened.           home) moved to Zoo                  first gorilla birth, is born
                                        site.                               to Kathy and Moemba.
       Giraffe building                 New support facilities
       converted to gorilla             built, including hospital,          Max, the Zoo’s first
       building.                        isolation, maintenance              okapi, is imported from
                                        compound, central                   the Frankfurt, Germany
       “Snake Pit” renovated            service center, and                 Zoo.
       as the Herpetarium.              greenhouse.
                                                                            The Zoo assists in the
1966   Ivan the Snow Leopard            Lawrence Curtis                     confiscation of over
       escapes through an               appointed as new                    1,000 rattlesnakes
       unlatched door.                  Director.                           gathered in roundups in
       Recaptured by dart gun                                               Texas and Oklahoma.
       but dies of an overdose   1971   Junior Curator Program
       of drugs.                        started and Animal Re-              City Council terminates
                                        search Council                      their contract with the
       Addition made to                 organized.                          Society and turns over
       pachyderm building for                                               operation of the Animal
       housing hippos.                  National Antivinen                  Shelter to the Zoo on a
                                        Index developed in                  temporary basis.
1968   $1.2 million bond issue          coordination with AZA
       approved for Zoo                 and located at OKC           Mid
       improvements.                    Zoo.                         70's   Animal research center
       Tapir Building opened            First ZooMobile
       in Children's Zoo.               donated by an auto                  Docent program es-
                                        dealer.                             tablished. Animal
       First tram purchased                                                 Health Council formed.
       from the New York                Amphitheater
       World’s Fair.                    resurrected from nonuse      1974   $500,000 bond voted for
                                        since the 30's with a               new Zoo entrance,
       Nursery opened in                spring musical                      offices, and Galapagos
       Children's Zoo.                  presentation in                     Island exhibit.
                                        cooperation with the
1969   "Northeast Study" by             Oklahoma City                       Additional land
       OKC Planning                     Symphony Orchestra.                 purchases completed,
       Department includes                                                  bringing total land to
       master plan for Zoo.             First surviving birth of            over 300 acres.
                                        an orangutan occurs at
       Dr. Ogilvie resigns.             the OKC Zoo.                 1975   Oklahoma City
                                                                            Zoological Trust formed
Early                                   First course in Zoo                 to manage the
70's Zoo embarks on a                   Biology offered at the              Oklahoma City Zoo.
      captive propagation               Zoo in collaboration
      program with two other            with OSU.                           Public Services facilities
      zoos to save the Golden                                               added.
Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                      Page 2
                                   1979   First phase of new Zoo            Construction of
       New Zoo railroad                   entrance completed.               Hummingbird/Rain
       installed.                                                           Forest exhibit begins.
                                   1980   Construction begins on            Proposal made to
       Animal Shelter given               new Zoo entrance                  develop a racetrack on
       back to the City.                  complex.                          Zoo property north of
                                                                            existing developed Zoo.
       Zoo property expanded              Galapagos Island
       by an addition of 40               Exhibit complex                   Director Lawrence
       acres.                             completed.                        Curtis resigns.
       Restoration of                     New Safari Tram added.     1985   Dan Moran Tropical
       amphitheater begins and                                              Bird Exhibit opened.
       a regular program of        1981   New gift shop and
       concerts is established.           concessions area                  Zoo entrance complex
                                          opened.                           completed.
1976   Junior League funds
       Creative Playground.               Zoo acquires a pair of            Steve Wylie hired as
                                          rare Indian rhinoceroses          new Director.
       Horticulture Department            from the West Berlin
       created.                           Zoo.                       1986   Aquaticus (Noble
                                                                            Aquatic Center) opened
       Extensive installation of   1982   Zoo received full                 as $6 million aquatic
       irrigation systems made            accreditation from                exhibit featuring marine
       throughout south area.             AAZPA.                            mammals and
1977   “Gronk”, the zoo’s first           Education Department
       condor chick, is hatched           closed to begin major      1987   New support facilities
       out and hand reared.               renovation.                       built to accommodate
                                                                            development of Rem-
       60 additional acres ac-            Planning begins for               ington Park north of
       quired, bringing total             Aquaticus.                        Zoo. Included are new
       acreage close to 400.                                                hospital, animal
                                   1983   Zoo Amphitheater                  management offices,
       Zoo receives an AAZPA              designated an historical          isolation units, central
       award for its sustained            site.                             services, maintenance
       conservation breeding                                                compound, graphics
       program with the                   Rex Kennedy Rosser                department, and hay
       Golden Lion Marmoset.              Education Center                  barn.
1978   “Virginia Lynn”                                                      Completion of EPA
       steamboat launched on       1984   Construction begins on            drainage projects
       Zoo Lake.                          Aquaticus.                        through ungulate area.
       Zoo’s first Master Plan            Sky Safari added.          1988   Presentation of
       for a new Zoo entrance                                               completed Zoo Master
       complex completed and              Rotary Gardens opened             Plan.
       bond funds designated              at front entrance.
       for its construction.                                                Expansion and
                                          Additional 60 acres of            upgrading of Zoo
       New Zoo offices opened             land acquired bringing            parking lot by
       in basement of                     total acreage to 420.             Oklahoma county.
       Kirkpatrick Center.

Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                      Page 3
       Opening of Remington              Renovation of                    The Canopy Food Court
       Park Racetrack adjacent           playground completed.            under construction.
       to Zoo grounds.
                                         Zoo’s own water well             New Herpetarium in
       Completion of marine              system completed.                design phase.
       aquariums and addition
       to Education program       1996   Butterfly Garden com-            New entry plaza under
       funded by Oklahoma                pleted.                          construction.
       City Community
       Foundation.                       Ground breaking for              Carousel arrives June
                                         new Education                    17.
1989   Zoo receives $75,000              Building.
       IMS Grant for Great                                                $8.5 million bond issue
       EscApe.                    1997   Cat Forest/Lion                  approved to accelerate
                                         Overlook exhibit                 construction.
       Zoo's two gas-powered             completed.
       trains sold, ending 40                                             Two bear grottos
       years of trains at the            Zoo takes over Gift              renovated. One for
       Oklahoma City Zoo.                Shop and                         aardwolves, the other
                                         Merchandising.                   for picnic tables.
1990   July 1990, one-eighth
       cent sales tax passed by          Moemba succumbs to               New sable antelope
       Oklahoma City voters.             heart disease.                   exhibit constructed.
       Zoo Lake dredged.                 Design Team begins        2000   Opening of The Canopy
                                         work on new entrance             Food Court.
1991   Children's Zoo                    and Zoo restaurant.
       renovated.                                                         Dolphin birth – May 31.
                                         Judy the Elephant dies.
1992   Zoo offices renovated.                                             Director Stephen R.
                                  1998   New Conservation                 Wylie resigns on
1993   Great EscApe                      Education Center opens.          October 1. Dr. Connie
       completed.                                                         Mack McCoy selected
                                         Skyride is sold.                 as Interim Director.
1994   Galapagos upgraded to
       Island Life Exhibit.              Matilda the Hippo dies.          Dolphin baby “Lily”
       New Catering Kitchen              Zoo receives AAM
       and Pavilion                      Accreditation as both a   2001   New Main Entry Opens
       construction completed.           living museum and                – March 10.
                                         botanical garden.
       Renovation of VIP                                                  Safari Tram stop
       Room Aquaticus. Now               New graphics installed           construction began.
       known as the Nautilus             at Aquaticus.
       Room.                                                              Norberto "Bert" Castro
                                         “Judy” memorial con-             hired as new Executive
1995   Cat Forest/Lion                   structed.                        Director on May 1.
       Overlook Project ($8.6
       million) construction      1999   Twin gorillas born               Dr. Connie Mack
       began.                            March 21.                        McCoy, Interim
                                                                          Executive Director
       New Zoo entrance sign             Pygmy hippo exhibit              /CEO retires.
       constructed.                      opened.

Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                    Page 4
       Greater one-horned                New Oklahoma bison                 the $250,000 addition is
       Indian rhino, "Jamie"             exhibit dedicated on               the first project
       born on May 10.                   June 1.                            completed in the new
                                                                            master plan of the Zoo.
       Oklahoma Zoological               Frontier Country
       Society Executive                 Marketing Association              Two orphaned bear cubs
       Director Patrick                  awards Haunt the Zoo               from Alaska go on
       Alexander resigns. Dr.            2002 Outstanding                   exhibit in their new
       Connie Mack McCoy                 Event.                             home at the Red Panda
       selected as Interim                                                  exhibit on June 26. In
       Director.                         Dwight Scott, former               August, the cubs move
                                         Co-Curator of Mammals              to a larger exhibit next
       Oklahoma City                     at the Zoo, is named               to the sea lion pool
       Zoological Trust votes            Director of Animal                 outside the Noble
       to discontinue dolphin            Management.                        Aquatic Center
       and sea lion                                                         performance arena.
       presentations.                    American Zoo and
                                         Aquarium Association               First annual Gorilla
       Waterfowl exhibit at              grants accreditation to            Golf tournament held in
       new Global Plaza opens            the Zoo for another five           September.
       on August 21.                     years.
                                                                            Haunt the Zoo sets an
       Oklahoma Zoological               Rare babirusa piglets              attendance record for
       Society names Lana Ivy            born at Zoo.                       the event with 33,487
       as new Executive                                                     trick-or-treaters.
       Director.                  2003   The Phillip Boyle
                                         Treehouse opens for                Female Western lowland
       Pygmy Hippopotamus                Education classes and              gorilla, Mikella, is born
       born on December 1.               activities.                        at Great EscApe on
                                                                            December 14.
2002   Safari Tram stop                  Harbor seal pups arrive
       construction completed.           at Zoo.                     2004   A male Western lowland
                                                                            gorilla named George is
       Oklahoma Department               In March, the new Fins             born at Great EscApe on
       of Wildlife                       and Feathers show                  January 25. At age 40,
       Conservation and                  opens at the Noble                 mother Kathy becomes
       United States Fish and            Aquatic Center,                    the oldest gorilla in
       Wildlife open branch              featuring California sea           captivity to give birth.
       offices on Zoo grounds            lions and several species
       in February.                      of exotic birds.                   Male babirusa piglet
                                                                            born on February 12.
       Zoo adds Morphis                  The Education Center is
       Virtual Simulator, rock           renamed on April 16 the            A female pygmy
       climbing wall and a               Rosser Conservation                hippopotamus named
       children's train.                 Education Center in                Clover, is born on St.
                                         honor of longtime                  Patrick's Day, March 17.
       Zoo Lake opens for                volunteer Ronald
       public fishing.                   Rosser.                            Construction of the
                                                                            Jungle Gym, a
       Master Plan workshops             The new interactive                community build
       conducted to begin long           lorikeet exhibit opens             playground, begins on
       term planning for                 on May 23. Located                 March 24 and opens on
       facilities and exhibits.          between the Children's             April 17.
                                         Zoo and The Canopy,
Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                      Page 5
       ZooKeys, located at 18            Extravaganza on August             single night mark was
       different boxes                   7.                                 set with 12,544 guests.
       throughout the Zoo with
       each providing different          In November, the Zoo is            Born in late October and
       messages, return to the           named as one of five               first heard by keepers on
       Zoo during spring.                finalists in Microsoft's           November 7, a litter of
                                         "America's Favorite                four meerkat pups are
       In May, the Zoo is                Zoo" contest.                      born at the Zoo.
       named the third best
       family-friendly zoo in            The Zoo Store opens at             Fern, a Western lowland
       the nation by Child               Penn Square Mall on                gorilla is euthanized on
       magazine.                         November 2, providing              November 29 due to age
                                         gift items and                     related health concerns.
       In mid-May, ground                educational experiences
       breaking and                      for shoppers. The Zoo       2006   A female Greater Indian
       construction begins on            Store remained open                rhino is born on January
       Oklahoma Trails.                  through January 2,                 18.
       Commemorative Dr.                                                    Three female red river
       Pepper bottles                    The Centennial Choo                hog piglets are born July
       celebrating Zoo's 100th           Choo opens on                      4. They are the first of
       birthday go on sale.              November 17. The                   their species born at the
                                         replica 1863 locomotive            Zoo.
       Two bison calves, one             driven train takes
       male and one female are           passengers over one-               Les, a 44-year-old male
       born at the Zoo in May.           mile tracks through the            Sumatran orangutan,
                                         hoofed stock exhibits.             dies due to age-related
       Zoo general admission                                                health concerns. He
       increases on June 1 to     2005   Two female Queensland              was the second oldest
       $7.00 for adults and              koalas, Kiley and                  male orangutan in North
       $4.00 for children and            Nariha, are temporarily            America.
       seniors.                          on exhibit, visiting from
                                         San Diego. The pair are            One male and one
       June 22 is declared               on exhibit from March              female African crested
       Oklahoma City Zoo                 11 through June 30.                porcupines are born
       Day through a                                                        Sept. 20. They are the
       resolution read by                The Island Life exhibit            first of their species
       Mayor Mick Cornett,               is renovated in March              born at the Zoo.
       honoring the Zoo's                with the addition of new
       Centennial Celebration.           exhibits and animals,       2007   Oklahoma Trails opens
                                         including the crocodile            March 10.
       Flowers In Flight: The            monitor.
       Butterfly Experience, a                                              The Zoo breaks its
       walk-through aviary               During the fiscal year             annual attendance
       featuring butterflies             ending June 30, the Zoo            record for the fiscal
       from around North                 breaks its annual                  ending on June 30 with
       America, opens in June.           attendance record with             800,374 guests.
                                         787,717 guests.
       The Zoo caps its year             Haunt the Zoo set two              Twenty flamingo eggs
       long Centennial                   attendance records. The            begin the transportation
       Celebration with a                six night total of 41,576          process to the Zoo on
       weekend of activities at          beat the old record by             July 7 as part of a
       the Centennial Birthday           over 8,000 while the               conservation program
                                                                            administered by the
Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                      Page 6
        Miami Metrozoo and                 Two snow leopard cubs        and one female, are
        the AZA. Eleven of the             are born on May 19. It       born.
        flamingo chicks hatched            was the first snow
        throughout the month of            leopard birth at the Zoo     The Zoo hosted its first
        July.                              in 16 years.                 annual Scoot for
                                                                        Conservation scooter
        Two litters of African             The Oklahoma City            run on June 28. All
        lion cubs are born at the          Zoological Trust names       proceeds benefited
        Zoo November 4 and 6.              Dwight Scott as the new      animal conservation.
        The litters produced               Executive Director/CEO
        four cubs, one male and            on May 21.                   A male Grevy;s zebra
        three females.                                                  foal is born on July 12.
                                           The Zoo breaks its
        On November 19, the                annual attendance record     A rare male okapi calf is
        Zoo and KFOR                       for the fiscal year ending   born on August 15.
        NewsChannel 4 launch               on June 30 with 835,382
        the KFOR Cub Cam.                  guests.                      On August 26, the Zoo
        Guests could log on to                                          welcomes the first
        the Cub Cam to watch               The Zoo’s two female         jaguar cub born at the
        the lion cubs prior to             Asian elephants, Asha        Zoo in 30 years! The
        their first public                 and Chandra, are moved       female cub was born to
        appearance.                        to the Tulsa Zoo to be       mom Ixchel.
                                           bred with male elephant
        A female Grevy’s zebra             “Sneezy.” The Zoo hosts      In October, construction
        foal was born at the Zoo           a “Pack Your Trunks”         begins on the new
        on November 25.                    party to send them off.      Asian-themed elephant
                                    2009   On February 19, Elok
 2008    Executive Director                the orangutan, new to        On October 15 and 16,
         Norberto “Bert”                   the Zoo, makes a brief       the Zoo hosts one-year
         Castro resigns                    trip outside of his          birthday parties for Zoe
         January 11. Director              exhibit and is quickly       the chimpanzee, who
         of Animal                         coaxed back inside           was orphaned at birth
         Management Brian                  without incident.            and hand-raised by
         Aucone is named                                                keepers.
         Interim Director.                 Dinosaurs Unearthed
                                           debuts at the Zoo on         On December 7 the Zoo
        Jennifer D’Agostino is             March 13. This               announces that Asha,
        named Director of                  animatronic exhibit          one of the Zoo’s Asian
        Veterinary Services in             featured life-sized          elephants, has
        January.                           moving, roaring              successfully conceived
                                           dinosaurs and ran            after breeding with male
        The Zoo hosts a naming             through June 30.             “Sneezy” at the Tulsa
        contest for the four                                            Zoo.
        African lion cubs.                 Tommy Bryant is named
        Voting took place online           Director of Grounds and      On December 18, the
        and the winning names              Maintenance on May 18.       Zoo kicks off a “Name
        were: Xerxes, Malaika,                                          That Goat Contest” to
        Zari and Kalliope.                 Brian Aucone is named        name the Nigerian dwarf
                                           Assistant Zoo Director       goats for the Children’s
        In April, construction             on July 1.                   Zoo. The contest was
        begins on the new                                               Oklahoma-themed, and
        Children’s Zoo.                    On June 18, two red          the winning names
                                           panda cubs, one male         were: Gotebo, Norman,
Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                  Page 7
       Edmond, Bixby,                     Paintings by OKC Zoo               female, are born to
       Chandler, Dewey,                   Animals” art show in the           parents   Yoda  and
       Oologah, Jet, Bowlegs,             Paseo District.                    Celeste.
       Duncan, Hugo & Perry.
                                          On October 18, elephant            On July 9, four critically
2010   The Zoo’s four lion cubs           sisters Asha and                   endangered     Sumatran
       move to the El Paso Zoo            Chandra return to the              tiger cubs are born to
       on January 17. They will           Zoo from the Tulsa Zoo.            mom Suriya and dad
       be staying together as a                                              Raguno – the first-ever
       non-breeding pride.                On November 1, Alan                Sumatran tigers born at
                                          Vasik begins as                    the Zoo.
       On January 17, a giraffe           Assistant Zoo Director.
       calf, later named                                                     On September 6, the
       “Keyara,” is born to                                                  Zoo opened a giraffe
       first-time parents Ellie                                              feeding platform that
       and Bogy.                   2011   On March 11, the Zoo’s             allows guests to feed our
                                          new 9.5 acre, $13                  gentle giants for $3.00 a
       On March 12, the new               million    Asian-themed            person.
       Children’s Zoo opens to            elephant habitat opens to
       the public, featuring a            the public! Featuring              On November 13, a rare
       barnyard petting area,             elephant sisters Asha              okapi calf, female, is
       the return of the                  and Chandra, the habitat           born to mom Caroli and
       Explorikeet Adventure,             is one of the largest              dad Kidomo.
       and much more!                     elephant spaces in the
                                          country!                           In December, a bull
       On April 7, the Zoo                                                   Asian elephant named
       announces the formation            The ZooZeum opened                 Rex joined the Zoo’s
       of a small grants                  on April 9. Located near           elephant herd of half-
       program, Conservation              the elephant habitat the           sisters   Asha    and
       Action Now (CAN).                  ZooZeum is housed in a             Chandra    and   baby
                                          restored stone building,           Malee.
       On May 12, two male                originally a bathhouse
       snow leopard cubs, an              built in 1935, by the       2012   On January 17 and male
       endangered species, are            Works            Progress          giraffe calf is born to
       born at the Zoo.                   Administration.      The           mom Ellie and dad
                                          only museum of its kind            Bogy.
       On June 24, two                    in the country, the
       endangered red panda               ZooZeum is a place to              In March, the Zoo is
       cubs, one male and one             relive    favorite   zoo           named the third best Zoo
       female, are born to                memories.                          in   the nation by
       parents Yoda and                                            ’s 10Bestie
       Celeste.                           On April 15, the Zoo               awards.
                                          welcomed a female baby
       On July 20, Zoo                    Asian elephant calf.
       Executive Director                 Born to mom Asha and
       Dwight Scott is named              dad Sneezy (from the
       to the Board of Trustees           Tulsa Zoo), the calf,
       of the prestigious Dian            later named Malee, is
       Fossey Gorilla Fund                the first elephant ever
       International.                     born at the Zoo.
       On August 6, the Zoo               On June 25, three
       presents the first annual          endangered red panda
       “Art Gone Wild:                    cubs, two males and one
Oklahoma City Zoo History                                                       Page 8

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