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Three Major Arrivals at Tulsa Zoo

TULSA, Okla. (Nov. 2, 2020) – Tulsa Zoo has big, big, big news. The zoo recently welcomed three new additions: an Asian elephant, a giraffe and a white rhino.

The zoo’s three new animals are:

  • Booper, a 48-year-old female Asian elephant. She comes to the zoo from an animal facility that is discontinuing its elephant program. Tulsa Zoo is honored to have been chosen to give Booper a new home where she will be a companion to new herd mates female Sooky and male Sneezy.
  • Eighteen-month-old female giraffe Zoe comes from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Zoe joins male Hekaya and females Lexi and Pili as part of an Association of Zoos Aquariums Species Survival Plan future breeding recommendation with Hekaya.
  • Sally, a 14-year-old female white rhino, comes from Columbus Zoo/The Wilds. She joins female Jeannie and male Rudo in conjunction with a future SSP breeding recommendation with Rudo.

An SSP is a carefully managed AZA program through which accredited zoos work collaboratively in the best interest of species, ensuring healthy, genetically diverse animal populations, says Vice President of Animal Conservation and Science Joe Barkowski.

“Transfer of animals among zoos and aquariums can happen for a number of reasons, and not every move happens for breeding purposes,” Barkowski says. “In some cases, transfers occur to balance the numbers held between facilities. That was the case with our young male giraffe, Ohe, who relocated to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to augment their herd. Other animals such as our African lions Shatari and Kalu were brought together to ensure they have similar social opportunities like their wild counterparts.”

Barkowski also shares his appreciation for the zoo’s staff, working for many months to coordinate the transfers of the three new members of the zoo’s largest species – all occurring within a two-week period.

Zoo guests can meet the three new additions at Lost Kingdom: Elephants, Osage Casino & Hotel Giraffe Barn, and Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve.

Connecting, Caring, Advocating for Wildlife, People and Wild Places.
About the Tulsa Zoo
The Tulsa Zoo is Green Country’s largest paid daily attraction, welcoming 700,000 guests each year, The zoo is owned by the City of Tulsa and managed by Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information about the Tulsa Zoo, visit or call (918) 669-6600.
Follow @Tulsa Zoo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

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