The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden has announced the opening of Predator Pass, a 61,000-square-foot predator paradise for African cheetahs and painted dogs.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. today with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Ward 7 Council member Nikki Nice, City Manager Craig Freeman and Executive Director and CEO of OKC Zoo , Dwight Lawson.
After three years, the cheetahs have officially returned to the zoo’s animal family. Brothers Boomer and Pistol Pete, 5, arrived at the zoo on October 17 from the Little Rock Zoo in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Three painted African dogs, two females and one male, from the Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri, are also new to the zoo’s family of animals. Painted canine sisters River, 3, and Pele, 3, along with male Bomani, 10, will reside at Predator Pass as a separate pack from the zoo’s current pack of five Painted Dogs.
These painted dogs are new pack mates and are being introduced to each other, so guests can only see the bitches in the habitat.
The zoo’s other painted African dog pack currently inhabit Lion Overlook on a rotating basis with the pride of the African lion zoo during construction on Expedition Africa.
The $ 1.9 million Predator Pass Habitat, designed by architects WDM of Wichita, Kansas and Guernsey Architects of Oklahoma City, consists of four distinct habitat spaces, two air-conditioned indoor habitats, and opportunities for panoramic viewing for guests, including three shaded porticos with graphic displays.
Each habitat space features lush foliage, rocky outcrops with shaded alcoves, as well as elevated views and limited bodies of water. The construction project was funded in part by an Oklahoma City one-eighth-of-a-cent sales tax.
Cheetahs and Painted Dogs will have access to the four habitat spaces by rotation for optimal enrichment experiences. Customers can observe these predators as they explore their habitats, located near the Joan Kirkpatrick Veterinary Hospital.