Large Temperature Drop Is Welcome Change For OKC Zoo Visitors


Wednesday, August 17th 2022, 6:27 pm



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Temperatures went from over 100 degrees Tuesday to a pleasant Wednesday morning in the 70's. 

The big cool down has many ready to leave the comfort of their air-conditioned home and enjoy the great outdoors.

One of those places is the OKC Zoo.

"This is Nana's day. The weather is beautiful," zoo visitor Helen Watts said.

Watts, her two two-year-old grandsons and dozens more jumped at the chance not just to be outside but to enjoy it, as well. 

The hotter days can be more work for Watts than fun.

"Very exhausting. Very sweaty,” Watts said. “Their little sippy cups are normally empty in the hot, hot weather. On hot days, when you're out here in the sun they be like, 'Drink! 'Drink!'" Watts said. "They just want to stay cool.”

On cool days like Wednesday, Watts said they're able to stay outside and not race in and out of air-conditioned exhibits.

"So we don't have to rush,” Watts said. “We can stay at one area and sweat won't be pouring off of us. The children are able to all stay in one place and to really enjoy the animals, instead of wanting to go into a building."

It's not just families who can have more fun in the cooler weather.

"I think the animals come out a lot more," Watts said.

"It's like us. They really do get a little more pep in their step when it's a little cooler in the weather," OKC Zoo director of public relations Candice Rennels said.

The nice weather even had the slower animals pick up the pace.

"The big cats may not be taking as many naps when it's a little cooler, compared to the warmer temperatures," Rennels said.

Then again, they are still cats and will grab a nap whenever they feel like it. 

Rennels said the heat has played a factor. This year, they've adjusted summer hours that run through Sept. 2. The zoo opens an hour early at 8 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m.

Afternoon admissions are free from noon to 2 p.m. will run through this Friday, as well.

"It is a big park. There's a lot of ground to cover,” Rennels said. “We want people to take their time. Sit down in the shade if you need to and definitely come early.”

Rennels has tips for anyone who decide to brave the heat. They may need to bring a few items along with them.

"Of course, refillable water bottles or just drinks, in general, or maybe some energy bars if you need a snack, some sunscreen,” Rennels said. “We suggest good comfortable shoes and taking advantage of the attractions.”

For Wednesday, Watts doesn't have to worry about that.

"They will enjoy today," Watts said.

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