Oct 20

Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum

Baby JaguarTulsa Zoo and Living Museum is a modest size zoo, 84 acres, located on the north side of Tulsa in Mohawk Park which is one of the largest city parks in the United States.  The Tulsa Zoo, as of this posting, is going over some major renovations to some of the marque attractions as well as the completion of their new sea lion habitat.  Further updates will be in the works for the Tulsa Zoo and their community as the city of Tulsa goes their Vision2 project.  Though the Tulsa Zoo does not have all of their exhibits viewable at the time of our exhibit it was still an enjoyable trip especially when we coupled a visit to the zoo with a stop at the Mary K. Oxley Nature Center which is also located in Mohawk Park.Tulsa ZooEven though the Tulsa Zoo is not the largest zoo that Karen and I have ever been to it was well represented with a variety of animals from many different continents.  In fact the Tulsa Zoo has more than 1,500 animals that represents close to 450 different species.  It is also one of a handful of zoos that have received accreditation from both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Association of Museums, which is probably why I enjoyed this zoo so much because it did provide a lot more information than other zoos that I have been to.OwlThe Tulsa Zoo has several worthwhile exhibits like their Robert J. LaFortune North American Living Museum, their Elephant Demonstration Yard, their Tropical American Rain Forest, and their brand new Helmerich Sea Lion Cove.  This was our second visit to the Tulsa Zoo our first being in 2007 and Karen and I were very excited to see some of their new renovations.  Unfortunately we did not time our trip very well because what was our favorite exhibit which is their American Living Museum which is comprised of an arctic, desert, and forest exhibit areas are all under construction and are scheduled to open in the spring 2013 with a new look and new animals.Tulsa Zoo ConstructionKaren and I were extremely impressed with their tropical American Rainforest.  Whenever a zoo has a rainforest it usually becomes one of the highlights of our trip to the zoo.  This particular rainforest is nearly 50 feet high and houses many exotic plants and animals including two new jaguar cubs named Chac and Kabah.  The cubs, like most baby animals, were the best part of any zoo visit because they are so lively and playful.  It was a lot of fun seeing them and it was nice to see conservation at work.  Other interesting exhibits were their award winning penguin exhibit, their African area which has a recreated Maasai Village and large exhibits for many of their animals.  Also their Chimpanzee Connection area with its energetic troop of chimps caught our attention.ToucanOf course any zoo that has been around for as long as the Tulsa Zoo which first opened its gates in 1927 will have some areas that need to be updated and the Tulsa Zoo is no exception.  The Bear grottos need to be redone and those animals need a more natural environment to live in.  I was also disappointed with their Dave Zucconi Conservation Center which had a large variety of animals including primates, reptiles, and birds.  This area was very dated and small.  Fortunately it seems like the Tulsa Zoo has several new things in the works and hopefully those areas will be a part of their master plan.Tulsa Seal ExhibitKaren and I really enjoyed our time at the Tulsa Zoo.  If you are somebody that is planning a trip to the zoo and only go once in a blue moon I would hold off until the spring of 2013 that way you get to see all of their nice exhibits.  If you are somebody that likes to go to zoos and goes all the time then a visit to the Tulsa Zoo will not leave you disappointed.  We wish all their exhibits would have been open for us to see, but we were happy anytime a zoo is making improvements.  Hopefully in the next half dozen years we will swing back through Tulsa and get to see all the wonderful new things that the Tulsa Zoo has in store for its visitors.Jaguars PlayingTulsa Zoo
Located at 6421 E. 36th St. North Tulsa
Hours of Operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year except Christmas Day and the third Friday in June
Cost as of this Posting – Adults 12 and older $8 Seniors 65 and older are $6 Ages 3 to 11 are $4
For more information visit their website at http://www.tulsazoo.org/

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