Aug 13, 2011
Recently, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden recognized Moore resident Darcy Henthorn for 30 outstanding years of service.
Henthorn has lived in Moore for 17 years now and has been working with the zoo since 1979. When she began working at the OKC Zoo, she worked part-time and made less than three dollars an hour. After just a few years of working part-time, Henthorn was offered a full-time position.
Henthorn moved to a full-time position in 1981 as an Education Coordinator, animal technician and senior animal technician and in 2003, she accepted the position of Animal Curator. Henthorn’s initial plan did not include working at the zoo but when the opportunity arose, she couldn’t pass it up.
“I got a wildlife management degree from OSU and I thought I was going to go into the wildlife department and then I found an opportunity to work at the zoo. I took it and loved it,” said Henthorn.
Throughout the last thirty years, Henthorn has worn many hats; she has been manager, supervisor, and now she is a curator. Henthorn has many duties as an Animal Curator; she manages and coordinates the animals and staff in the areas under her care, she assists with procedures and care when needed. Animals in the collection she manages include most of the birds in the Zoo, the Children’s Zoo animals, and the animals in the antelope area, which include bison, hoof stock and small carnivores.
“The best part of my job is that I have always loved what I do,” Henthorn said. “I look forward to coming to work every day and each day is slightly different from the day before. I have had the privilege over the last 30 years to work with some of the rarest animals on Earth, and the honor of working with some of the greatest people I will ever meet. “
Not only is Henthorn passionate about her work, she is good at what she does, too. She as well as many others planned, modeled, and revamped the Children’s Zoo area.
“We feel like we put the whole thing together really well. It took a few years to plan and a few years to build but we’ve been experiencing great attendance in this place now,” said Henthorn. “We set an all time record in the spring we opened the Children’s Zoo of over 19,000 in one day.
Henthorn juggles many jobs at the OKC Zoo. She is in charge of looking over both the staff and the animal collection.
“I started here working with the people, spent 20 years working with the animals and now I work more with the people again,” Henthorn said.
You can find Henthorn hard at work out at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The zoo is located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35 in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District. Zoo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Saturdays through September 3, the Zoo will remain open until 8 p.m. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages three-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.