OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Reptile enthusiasts are invited to celebrate World Lizard Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden.
According to the Zoo, its World Lizard Day celebration is Monday, August 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Zoo is teaming up with Bob Moore Subaru to host a variety of family-friendly activities that showcases the Zoo’s many lizards. Attendees can also learn more about the conservation efforts supporting certain endangered lizards and their homes.
The OKC Zoo says activities include a kid’s scavenger safari with prizes, information stations, caretaker chats, animal enrichment, photos opportunities and more, and are free with regular Zoo admission. Guests can find these activities near the Zoo’s Herpetarium.
The OKC Zoo also supports numerous conservation initiatives including the Texas Horned Lizard Project and the Foundation for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Guatemala (FUNDESGUA).
Since 2008, the OKC Zoo has supported the Texas Horned Lizard Project, which focuses on researching and protecting Texas horned lizards, native throughout Oklahoma and multiple other states.
FUNDESGUA uses science-based strategies that is a part of local culture that leads to successful conservation results. The organization focuses on two species, the endangered Guatemalan beaded lizard and Campbell’s alligator lizard. Both rely on hardwood forests and FUNDESGUA has teamed up with local communities to plant hundreds of thousands of trees to restore habitat, helping both lizards and people, officials say.
The OKC Zoo has also shared some fun facts about lizards to celebrate:
- Some species of lizards, like the prehensile tailed skink, stay in family groups for their entire lives.
- Did you know that not all lizards have legs? Species like the sheltopusik are legless and can be mistaken for a snake.
- Lizards can either lay eggs or have live bearing young.
- There are two species of venomous lizards, Gila monsters and beaded lizards. You can see the Guatemalan beaded lizards in the Zoo’s Herpetarium.
- Lizards range from the smallest species, the nano chameleon at 0.5in, to the largest, Komodo dragon which can grow to 10ft.
- Habitat loss caused by expanding agriculture, deforestation and urban development are the greatest threats to reptiles worldwide.
- OKC Zoo has a headstart rearing program for Texas horned lizards to help increase the wild population.
- One of the best studied Texas horned lizard populations in the world lives at Tinker Air Force Base. OKC Zoo staff have helped collect data on this population for 16 years.
- OKC Zoo leads conservation efforts in Guatemala for two critically endangered lizards, Guatemalan beaded lizard and Campbell’s alligator lizard.
- You can help lizards by Rounding Up when making purchases at the Zoo. Round Up funds are used to support lizard conservation in Guatemala.
For more information, visit okczoo.org.