TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 8, 2016) — The Tulsa Zoo was recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for achieving more than 25 years of accreditation. This new award celebrates zoos and aquariums for making a commitment to animal care, welfare, conservation and education.
“The Tulsa Zoo is appreciative of the AZA for recognizing our continuous dedication to the best modern zoological practices and philosophies, which are the hallmarks of accreditation,” says Terrie Correll, president and CEO of Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc. “Our master plan reflects our commitment to meet and exceed evolving standards while providing a superior guest experience.”
AZA-accredited facilities complete a thorough review to ensure they meet and will continue to meet rising standards, which include areas of animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years. The Tulsa Zoo was first accredited in 1976. The zoo will apply to renew its accreditation in 2017.
The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous onsite inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the commission’s decision is made.
The Tulsa Zoo, since entering into a public-private partnership with the City of Tulsa in 2011, has been investing in improvements across its 84 acres. The zoo plans to open its second, and largest to date, master plan exhibit in 2017. The Lost Kingdom Exhibit Complex will include new habitats for tigers, snow leopards, siamangs and komodo dragons, as well as introduce red pandas and binturongs. Learn more about the zoo’s plans at tulsazoo.org/better-zoo; to learn about the zoo’s capital campaign, visit buildingbeyond.org.
Special thanks to the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation for the grant that made the 20-year master plan possible, and to the following sponsors for support of the Lost Kingdom Exhibit Complex:
Helmerich Tiger Exhibit
Hardesty Snow Leopard Habitat
George Kaiser Family Foundation Special Events and Dining Pavilion
Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation Red Panda/Binturong Exhibit and Aviary
The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Outdoor Siamang Habitat
The Grace and Franklin Bernsen Indoor Siamang Dayroom
The H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Outdoor Komodo Exhibit
Bank of Oklahoma Entry Portal
Barbara and Lynn Owens Snow Leopard Dayroom and Demonstration Area
Hille Foundation Tiger Bridge
About the Tulsa Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Tulsa Zoo seeks to inspire passion for wildlife in every guest, every day. The zoo welcomes more than 622,000 guests each year, making it the largest attraction in the Green Country region. The Tulsa Zoo is owned by the City of Tulsa and managed by Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc. TZMI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. In 2016, the Tulsa Zoo celebrates 88 years of providing family friendly recreation, natural sciences education and conservation of wildlife.
The Tulsa Zoo entered an exciting phase of development in 2012 with the launch of a 20-year master plan for zoo exhibits and the most aggressive capital campaign in the zoo’s history. The master plan and information about the current capital campaign, Building Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, can be found at buildingbeyond.org. For more information about the Tulsa Zoo, visit tulsazoo.org or call (918) 669-6600.