Saturday, July 25, 2015

the answer is d

None of the above, is the answer to the question I posed in my last post.

I did not explore the states around Oklahoma because I did not want to risk missing my flight home, so
"a" and "b" were out.  I decided to go with "c", heading directly to the airport after checking out of my hotel, but noticed signs pointing me to the Tulsa zoo. 

I know people frequently dismiss zoos as cruel, awful places for animals to live.  But honestly, I've always enjoyed going to Hogle Zoo.  I remember as a child going with my family and loving it when my mom could get the bears to sit up and beg for marshmallows.  Yes.  We were those people.  But remember, there were no signs directing us to not feed the animals.  And she was really good at getting them to sit up and wave and catch the treats she tossed their way.  Her "yoohoo" got their attention and they almost seemed to remember her.  It was pretty entertaining to a kid.

Hogle Zoo has changed so much and improved over the years.  Larger spaces for the animals, and while I know there isn't any way to make the zoo be just like Africa and the Antarctic and the Rocky Mountains really, somebody has put in a lot of effort to improve it both for the animals and for the visiting public.

The Tulsa zoo is more like what I would expect if say Ogden had a zoo.  Tulsa isn't the capital city of Oklahoma, so I probably shouldn't have expected much.  But seriously.  I'm thinking somebody bought a whole bunch of land and decided to put a zoo there.  With three elephants and a couple of giraffes and allegedly some rhinos.  Perhaps there were all of those animals and more, certainly I saw a huge desert tortoise and a whole bunch (pack? gaggle?) of turtles in a pond with fish and nearby one of those gumball machines that dispenses turtle pellet food for 25 cents.  And I think there was a train ride.  But it was so hot and so humid that I wandered around for less than 30 minutes.  I felt so sorry for the few animals I saw (other than the turtles and fish, they seemed to be in their native habitat).  The displays I saw were concrete, not much shade, and nothing like where the animals would normally live in nature.

It was awful. 

The few visitors I saw were all as miserable as the animals and me.  I got the impression the zoo builders might have grand plans, little funding, and high hopes.  I only hope my $10 admission helps somehow.  I couldn't help but think the next item they add should be a really great splash pad that could keep kids in Tulsa from experiencing heat stroke during field trips to the zoo.  And maybe large pools and shaded enclosures for the animals?

That visit was eye opening.  I will continue to support and be grateful for Hogle Zoo. 

And also be grateful for the high mountain desert dry heat of summer here.

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