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Oklahoma City Zoo, Dr. Pepper team up to host statewide student art contest

OKC Zoo giraffe calf 2015, Courtesy: OKC Zoo

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and Dr Pepper are uniting forces to help global giraffe conservation in the 13th annual Dr. Pepper Vending Machine Art Contest.

For the past 12 years, zoo officials say both the zoo and Dr. Pepper have leveraged the unlimited creativity of Oklahoma’s students to visually inform and inspire serious conservation messages ranging from Asian elephant conservation to recycling.

This year’s contest theme, “Heads Up for Conservation: Saving Giraffes”, highlights the global crisis surrounding the critically endangered giraffe population.

Over the past 30 years, the wild giraffe population has declined by 40 percent due to limited living space, poaching and disease, putting them in danger of extinction.

With only 80,000 giraffes remaining in the wild, it’s time to raise awareness for these gentle giants.

Through March 31, Oklahoma students in kindergarten through twelfth grade may submit their original designs based on the contest theme, “Heads Up for Conservation: Saving Giraffes” visually expressing how they would help save giraffes and protect their natural habitats.

Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, meeting art specifications and relevance to the contest theme.

Official entry forms are available online at www.okczoo.org.

Students may enter through their school, home school, civic group, or on their own.

Zoo officials say entries become property of the Oklahoma City Zoo and must be postmarked by March 31, 2017.

The winning designs will be unveiled during the Zoo’s Earth Day celebration, Party for the Planet, on Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m.

Two grand prize winners will receive a $300 Visa gift card courtesy of First Security Bank, a certificate and their design will become the cover of a Dr. Pepper machine at the zoo for an entire year to be admired by an estimated one million zoo guests in 2017.

Additional winners will receive certificates and Visa gift cards ranging from $25 to $100, all courtesy of First Security Bank.

All contest participants will also be entered in a random drawing on April 3, 2017, to win $1,529 toward an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP) account.

To enter the drawing to win the OCSP prize, students must submit a design on an official contest entry form.

Students may submit more than one contest design but their name will only be entered once to win the OCSP prize.

The Oklahoma City Zoo encourages students to draw inspiration from visiting its growing giraffe herd including adult females Ursula, 32; Noel, 28; and Ellie, 16.

Young giraffes include Ellie’s offspring female Julu, 18-months, and male Ketara, 2-months. Ketara was the 55th giraffe born in the Oklahoma City Zoo’s 115-year history!