The Tulsa Zoo has been greeting guests for 95 years
TULSA, OKLA. – Tulsa’s Zoo lies within Mohawk Park Northeast of Downtown Tulsa, Okla. Taking up more than 80 acres, the zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals. Established in 1927, the Tulsa Zoo is owned by the City of Tulsa and managed by Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc., a 501(c) (3) non-profit. The Tulsa Zoo’s goal is to provide family friendly recreation, natural science education and conservation of wildlife.
The Tulsa Zoo supports more than 360 conservation projects for creatures all around the world. The Zucconi Conservation Center is home to a variety of species that have conservation needs or are involved in conservation efforts supported by the Tulsa Zoo. Various species call the Conservation Center home including primates, reptiles, birds and fish. The Tulsa Zoo is a zero-landfill zoo and only offer guests straw-less lids, paper cups and reusable shopping bags. The zoo participates in single stream recycling and any resources that cannot be reused, repurposed or recycled go to energy from waste power plant in West Tulsa.
The Helmerich Discovery Center serves as headquarters for the Tulsa Zoo’s educational programs. The Center contains classrooms, large auditorium, library, staff offices and living quarters for education animal ambassadors. Educational opportunities available through the Tulsa Zoo are Story Time, the Cox Nature Exchange, Walking Tours and Summer Camp. The U 2 Zoo program involves presentations at the zoo. The program brings the zoo to your location through animal ambassadors and presentations. Two virtual programs offer 30 minute programs or a virtual tour of the zoo.
The African Penguin exhibit features naturalistic rockwork, underwater viewing and a wave motion pool simulating the South African shoreline. The African black footed penguins than inhabit the exhibit are one of the few species of penguins that prefer warmer waters.
The African Plains exhibit is meant to resemble the African savanna. The exhibit houses many unique and awe inspiring animals like giraffes, lions, African painted dogs, southern ground hornbills, African crowned cranes, white storks, springbok antelope, meerkats, white rhinos and more. The Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve portion of the exhibit allows a year round view. Be sure to check out Hodari, the Tulsa Zoo’s first white rhino calf, born last November. The observation deck of the Mary K. Chapman Giraffe Experience is raised to a giraffe’s point of view offering unique feeding opportunities and a panoramic view of the exhibit.
The Aldabra Tortoise Exhibit features a tortoise native to Aldabra Island northeast of Madagascar. The Aldabra Tortoise can live to be 150 years old and can reach 550 pounds. The tortoises’ free-range yard can be viewed from both indoor and outdoor decks surrounding the yard.
The Chimpanzee Connection Exhibit is home to the Tulsa Zoo’s Chimpanzee Troop. These endangered animals can be viewed year round through indoor and outdoor viewing widows.
Madagascar black and white ruffed lemurs inhabit the Lemur Grotto. This open-air habitat is full of lush grass and tall trees. Lemurs love for nectar makes them possibly nature’s largest pollinator.
The Robert J. Lafortune WildLIFE Trek contains four exhibits featuring animals with unique adaptations which allow them to live in different environments. The Life in the Cold Exhibit’s animals includes chinchillas, snowy owls, grizzly bear and arctic foxes. The building also houses the Nature Exchange with educational spaces, fossils, bones and artifacts.
The Life in the Desert Exhibit displays creatures that have adapted to live in desert climates. This exhibit houses tarantulas, diving beetles, snakes, birds, skinks, lizards, chuckwalla, iguana, fox, tortoise and peccary. Forest dwelling creatures make up the exhibits in the Life in the Forest Exhibit. Raccoons, Bobcat, Bald Eagles, tarantula, python, boa, skink, treeshrew and a variety of birds inhabit this exhibit.
American alligators, seahorses and more can be seen at the Life in the Water Exhibit. Birds, turtles, toads, snakes, fish, and sea anemones can also be seen in this exhibit featuring animals that live in and near water.
The lush gardens and settings inspired by ancient Asian Cultures in the Lost Kingdom Exhibit allow guests to see some of Asia’s rarest and most elusive species. Malayan tigers walk a bridge over visitors to travel between outdoor spaces. Snow leopards, Chinese alligators, siamangs, binturongs and Komodo dragons are also members of this exhibit.
Sea Lion Cove has a 100,000-gallon saltwater pool, an underwater viewing area, waterfall, themed structures and large seating area. The zoo’s comedic California Sea Lions call Sea Lion Cove home.
The Tropical Rainforest Exhibit features a giant kapok tree that stretches over 50 feet toward the glass ceiling of the exhibit. The 15,000-square-foot exhibit is a recreation of a tropical rainforest. Jaguars, howler monkeys, anacondas and piranhas can be seen among the ruins along the path winding through the thick undergrowth.
The zoo has been able to open the St. John Family Den. The Family Den features a dedicated space for nursing mothers, a quiet room for families affected by autism or sensory processing disorders, a family restroom and restroom with an adult changing table.
The Helmerich Playground Behaving Like Animals offers free play experiences for toddlers and older children in separate areas. Inclusion was the goal in the design of the playground enabling children of all physical, social and emotional capabilities to participate.