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The Morning Brew: Is the Oklahoma City Zoo the worst zoo in America?

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Is Oklahoma City zoo the worst in AmericA? Animal rights group says yes. Zoo says 'No way!'

The Oklahoman's Matt Patterson reports:

California-based In Defense of Animals released its rankings Wednesday. The top five also include the Natural Bridge Zoo in Rockbridge County, Virginia; the Honolulu Zoo, the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Alberta, Canada, and the Oregon Zoo in Portland.

Oklahoma City makes the list because of two elephants that died in its care in 2015 and 2016.

Chai died in January 2016 from a blood infection. Malee, an elephant born at the Oklahoma City Zoo, died in October 2015 from the elephant herpes virus.


Oklahoma City Zoo executive director Dwight Lawson said in a statement the group is trying to mislead the public.

“In Defense of Animals uses deceitful tactics to manipulate the public in an effort to further their anti-zoo agenda,” he said. “Their latest effort exploits sensitive images of one of the Oklahoma City Zoo's elephants during an emergency medical care procedure. The group accompanies the images with false information about the health and well-being of zoo elephants.”

Lawson said Bamboo has fit in well in Oklahoma City.


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Juliana Keeping

Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award... Read more ›