Experience the exotic
Wildlife brings far-flung places to Tulsa.
Sea Turtle Island
Animals play among the ruins of an ancient Asian temple in the Lost Kingdom, a $21 million complex opening this month at the Tulsa Zoo. Peek past the plantain leaves in the verdant gardens to catch the first glimpse of a red panda or a Chinese alligator. Watch a powerful Malayan tiger cross above visitors’ heads on a bridge between outdoor areas or interact with its keepers in a demonstration space.
“As the physical barriers separating animals from the visitor become transparent through large-view windows, a sense of connection and shared experience emerges,” says Lindsay
Hutchison, the zoo’s vice president of philanthropy and community engagement.
6421 E. 36th St. N. | 918-669-6600
9 a.m.-5 p.m., daily. | Zoo admission: $10, adult; $6, age 3-11; $8, age 65 and older | tulsazoo.org
Sea Turtle Island
The Oklahoma Aquarium is home to reef sharks, tropical fish and two 300-pound loggerhead sea turtles in a 65,000-gallon tank. The upper levels of Sea Turtle Island, open since March 2, have a light, airy feel, and the underwater experience provides breathtaking views of the endangered turtles.
“We want our visitors to understand the plight of endangered species and to be appreciative of how decisions we make can impact their environment, even in Oklahoma,” Executive Director Teri Bowers says. The renovation allows visitors to view both new and longtime aquarium residents in a fresh way, she adds.
300 Aquarium Drive, Jenks | 918-296-3474
10 a.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday, Wednesday-Sunday. | Aquarium admission: $15.95, adult; $11.95, age 3-12; $13.95, age 62 and older
and military | okaquarium.org
Woolaroc Wildlife Preserve
Entering the gates of Woolaroc can feel like stepping into an old Western movie, where buffalo and cattle roam across the windswept prairies. During the 2-mile drive through the 3,700-acre wildlife preserve, visitors might glimpse the herd of 115 buffalo and 50 elk grazing or see longhorn cattle, water buffalo and even zebras.
“We always say that you pass through the front gates of Woolaroc and you enter the museum right then … the building comes later,” says Kaci Fouts, director of strategic planning for Woolaroc.
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Road, Bartlesville | 918-336-0307, ext. 10
10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday. | $12, adult; $10, age 65 and older; free, age 11 and younger | woolaroc.org