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Oklahoma City Zoo offers visitors variety of experiences

The Oklahoma City Zoo is home to more than 2,200 animals, and new projects are always under construction.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: August 22, 2010

One of the most well-known attractions in Oklahoma City is the Oklahoma City Zoo.

The zoo is home to more than 2,200 animals living on more than 110 acres in northwest Oklahoma City.

The zoo offers guests "an opportunity to enjoy some of the world's most fascinating animals in beautifully landscaped surroundings," spokeswoman Tara Henson said.

The zoo partially is funded by an eighth-cent sales tax that voters passed 20 years ago. At the time, zoo officials promised residents they would focus on the ABCs: apes, bears and cats. What followed were major renovations. Great EscApe opened in 1993, and Cat Forest and Lion Overlook followed in 1997. Oklahoma Trails, home to the zoo's grizzly and black bears, opened in 2007.

The changing and new attractions are exciting to visitors, Henson said. The new Children's Zoo focuses on interactive exhibits, such as a wading creek, a petting zoo and an area to feed lorikeets.

The next large-scale exhibit to open will be the elephant habitat. It will cost nearly $23 million and is expected to open in 2011.

The goal is for visitors to have fun and take away a sense of pride in their city and their zoo, Henson said. Zoo staff members also hope visitors develop a great environmental awareness.

"We continue to work toward raising more awareness about conservation efforts locally and globally," Henson said.