Gayla Peevey Day at OKC Zoo


Back in 1953, ten-year-old Gayla Peevey recorded a catchy, hard-to-spell Christmas classic I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas for Columbia Records. That Christmas, the song sold a record half million copies and shot Gayla to the national spotlight even performing on the ever popular Ed Sullivan Show.

The song was extremely popular in Oklahoma with the OKC Zoo creating a campaign to buy a hippo for Gayla for Christmas. People from all over the country donated and raised enough money to actually buy her one, which she, very quickly, donated to the OKC Zoo.

After growing up, recording a few other songs under a different name and graduating from San Diego University with a Bachelor degree in Education, Gayla still loves to perform the classic today. She's still loved in the city she was born with the City of Oklahoma City declaring Saturday, December 9th, 2017 as "Gayla Peevey Day" to honor her.

Now you can sing-along with Gayla on her special day. The Oklahoma City Zoo will have a Gayla Peevey Sing-A-Long Saturday, December 9th from 11 am-Noon at the Rosser Conservation Auditorium (Education Building) at the Zoo property.

She may share also share some exciting Zoo news so don’t miss out. The live sing-a-long will take place in the Rosser Conservation Auditorium and is free to attend. General admission applies to enter the Zoo.

For more information on the event, visit

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