Why The Oklahoma City Zoo Is The Best One To Visit Right Now

Four baby lion cubs were welcomed at The AZA-accredited Oklahoma City Zoo and now the public gets to help name them.

By Trista Sobeck | Published

Congrats to Hubert and Dunia! The pair welcomed their four furry babies into the world at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Of course, they are lions and of course, everyone is excited for the adorable bundle of cuteness overload. Mom and babies are resting and enjoying some bonding time. But get ready to see them at one of the best zoos in the US!

The 7-year-old African lion, Dunia gave birth to her brood on September 26 and now the babies are ready for their debut. Following tradition, The Oklahoma City Zoo is running a naming contest on social media to help name the adorable foursome. 

Three girls and one boy make up Oklahoma City’s newest additions! African lions are not endangered but are on the vulnerable list. This means that 75% of their population is in decline. According to NPR, there are about 23,000 left in the wild. Climate change, deforestation, and conflict with humans are to blame for the lion’s deterioration. 

This birth is the first bundle of joy (of lions) that was born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 15 years. Because the zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, it can take part of its Special Survival Plan Programs. These programs allow for the mating of certain animals to help ensure the population continues to endure. 

AZA Accreditation at The Oklahoma City Zoo

The accreditation from the AZA assures that zoos are maintaining high standards in maintaining their locations and in the quality of care of its animals. AZA is up there with top OSHA and ADA accrediting bodies. The Oklahoma City Zoo is accredited and that is one reason it was able to welcome these wonderful little lion cubs. 

There are 2,800 licensed animal exhibitors in the US and about 10% are accredited. Next time you’re out and about and want to go to a zoo or aquarium, look for the AZA accreditation logo. If you see it, you’re in for a treat. Going to a member of the accreditation’s location helps to make sure that animals are treated with quality and that you, as a member have a secure and top-notch time. 

AZA zoos and aquariums also have educational components, so you are assured to learn something and enjoy interactivity from the docents and ambassadors who will take time to tell you all they know about the animals. From animal behavior to fun facts, docents at AZA zoos, like the Oklahoma City Zoo, will share pieces of info. 

Picking The Lions’ Names

oklahoma city zoo

Because the Oklahoma City Zoo is asking for the public’s assistance in naming the cubs, in order to make it easier, zoo officials have pre-chosen names and grouped them. One group’s names are inspired by the country of Africa, another group’s names are inspired by nature words in Swahili (much like mama, Dunia), while another group is made up of Oklahoma City-inspired names. 

No, Lion McLion Face, is not an option. Don’t get it? In 2016, a British agency let the public name its new research ship. Boaty McBoatface was the result. However, it was renamed The Sir David Attenborough, as a more dignified choice. The Oklahoma City Zoo learned from Europe’s mistake.