The Oklahoma City Zoo has long been a favorite of mine, but it has really blossomed over the past several years, getting better and better with each notable addition. Millions and millions of dollars from sales taxes and private donations have been poured into the facility, and the results are wonderful. Just a few of the recent zoo developments:
- The new $13 million dollar elephant habitat includes three outdoor yards, pools, a waterfall, demonstration pavilion and a barn that allows views into it from a raised boardwalk.
- The Patricia and Byron J. Gambulos ZooZeum, the country's first zoo museum, was added last spring. It includes displays and galleries telling the 100-year story of the zoo through artifacts, photos and video.
- A giraffe feeding platform opened last year.
- Opened in 2010, the 2.5 acre, $8.3 million Children's Zoo allows kids the opportunity to touch animals, play, splash in the water, picnic and more.
- The popular 8-acre Oklahoma Trails exhibit opened in 2007, showcasing plants and animals from the state's eleven distinct life zones.
Well, we're not the only ones taking note as our zoo has advanced from a regional attraction to a national draw. Based on reader votes, travel site 10Best.com named the Oklahoma City Zoo the #3 zoo in the country, noting the "100-plus acre park is home to more than 2000 exotic animals from around the world." Now, I'm not quite sure we deserve to be ranked above the St. Louis Zoo or the San Diego Zoo quite yet, but the recognition is nevertheless nice to see.
Photo © Adam Knapp
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