A Bear Of A Day For Visitors At The OKC Zoo

Tuesday, April 13th 2021, 6:11 pm
By: Brian Mueller


They were bearing down Tuesday at the Oklahoma City Zoo. 

“The team worked very hard to move all 915 pounds of him up here to the hospital," said Tyler Boyd, the Oklahoma City Zoo Curator of Carnivores.

Wiley, an 18-year-old grizzly bear, along with his brother Will, received his once every three-year wellness exam. 

“This is a little more in depth than your dog or your cat, however they receive the same excellent medical care from our veterinary staff here," said Boyd.

Wiley and Will were rescued from the Alaskan wilderness after their mother was killed, and brought to the OKC Zoo in 2003. 

The bears were anesthetized for the two-hour exam, and without getting into all the grizzly details, Wiley and Will got their bare necessities taken care of, including teeth cleaning, blood draws and radiographs. 

This was a unique opportunity for zoo-goers to watch it all. It was the grizzlies first time at the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital. 

“It’s really exciting, a lot of this stuff happens behind the scenes, so this is a neat experience, especially this being the biggest animal we’ve ever had up in the hospital, for guests to come up and see one of their favorite animals from Oklahoma Trails,” said Boyd. 

In addition to the exam, visitors also got to bear witness to the start of a research study by Mississippi State, when the bears were outfitted with special smart collars. 

“They’re basically like bear Fitbits, and what that’ll do, that’ll give us some information and some research on how they interact with each other and how they move about their exhibit,” said Boyd. 

If you’d like to view the next procedure at the animal hospital, the OKC Zoo posts that information on their website and social media pages