Recently, my fam was in town and we decided to take the trek over to the good ol’ Tulsa Zoo. Quite honestly, I’m almost certain that my last trip to the zoo was probably circa 1995. Our zoo adventure left me with tingly feelings of nostalgia — especially when I saw the train and heard the familiar “choo choo.” While nostalgia abounded, the zoo also surprised me with plenty of new exhibits and features.
If you’re like me, you’ve been cooped up in a groundhog-esque hole most of the winter. But northeastern Oklahoma is finally starting to thaw out, so it’s time to drag yourself out of that hole, grab at least one child, and head to the zoo. Yes, I said grab at least one child. While it is possible to go to the zoo without a child, you will have a WAY better time if you have a kid with you. That’s a no brainer. Plus, if you have a kid with you, that’s an easy ticket to politely push your way to the front of basically any animal exhibit.
On this particular trip to the zoo, my child “ticket” was my niece Lily Ann. She’s a cutie (obviously; we’re from the same gene pool).
As I was saying, the zoo surprised me with some new and exciting things. So, in no particular order, here are…
7 reasons why you should make a trip to the Tulsa Zoo ASAP:
#7: Because you need another excuse to get the “I Like to Move It, Move It” song in your head. That’s right, nothing will get that song lodged in your head like seeing a real, live lemur! (By the way, did you know that Lemur.com is a website for lemur accessories? That’s right; I just Googled it on accident). In case you didn’t catch the drift of the movie “Madagascar,” lemurs are indigenous
to the east African island nation, so you won’t be seeing any lemurs around these here parts unless you make a trip to the Tulsa Zoo.
#6: Because You Need to See Wild Kitties. Where else can you see leopards, tigers, cheetahs, lions, and many more pretty sleeping kitties all in one sitting? Now, when I say “sleeping kitties,” we all know that most of the time, the wild cats at the zoo are sleeping, not doing something wild and exciting, like the cats you see on the Nature Channel.
However, during our visit, one of the zookeepers yelled something at the male lion to get him a little riled up, and next thing we knew, the mighty King of the Jungle was sprinting across his domain, wishing he could leap the fence and chase the zookeeper! It was awesome! The Tulsa Zoo staff really does everything possible to get the animals active and to wow a crowd.
#5: Because You Never Know When You’ll Be Surprised. I was wandering through the rainforest exhibit, when suddenly a sloth came within a few inches of my head! And this wasn’t just any sloth; it was a new Momma sloth with a baby in its lap! I know you can’t see very well from my photo, but these unique, furry creatures definitely wowed me!
#4: The Newly Renovated Robert J. LaFortune WildLIFE Trek. The renovated exhibit opens March 16 and will feature plenty of wildlife that you’ve probably never seen, including naked mole rats and albino alligators. However, the real star of the Robert J. LaFortune WildLIFE Trek is the grizzly exhibit, with an interactive keeper chat area and training wall as well as a naturalistic habitat featuring a two-story waterfall and wading pond for the bears. Guests will find new features such as these, but they will also find many old favorites, such as the zoo’s original cave exhibit!
#3: Because You Need to See Cute Penguins. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. Seeing an adorable penguin dive into a pool of chilly water or waddle around on those happy little three-pronged feet makes anyone smile.
#2: Because you Need to Ride a Camel. Starting up again March 16, you can take a tour of the zoo atop a Dromedary Camel for only $5. This is one experience I’ve never had, and definitely makes me want to go back to the zoo ASAP. The entrance to the camel path is located near the Chimpanzee Connection.
#1: Because the Helmerich Sea Lion Cove is Simply Amazing! The new sea lion exhibit just opened last March, so you and your fam may not have had a chance to check it out yet. My niece (and the entire family!) was truly astounded by the amazing tricks of these beautiful, playful animals — they roll on their bellies, leap high into the air for treats, and more. Seeing a show at the Sea Lion Cove should be a definite must during your zoo visit!
Those are just a few of my favorite attractions at the Tulsa Zoo. I hope to make it back there on a warm and sunny day very soon. What are some of your favorite things about the Tulsa Zoo?