Oklahoma City Zoo shows why it’s one of the best in the country

Elephants at the Oklahoma City Zoo
Six Asian elephants call the OKC Zoo home.

Oklahoma City’s zoo rocks with the world’s largest elephant exhibit. Covering almost 10 acres, it’s about twice the size of the closest exhibit. Opened in 2011, the exhibit is one of the reasons Oklahoma City is considered one of the best zoos in the United States.

The six Asian elephants in a large area that challenges them for physical activity. A pool allows the pachyderms room to splash around or relax for a nice soak.

Elephant walking inside the play area at the Oklahoma City Zoo
Oklahoma City’s zoo is home to the world’s largest elephant exhibit.

The thing that stood out for us is the boardwalk that visitors take through the exhibit. Located about 20 feet above the exhibit area, it allows an unobstructed view as the elephants move about, play and eat. A viewing section seats about 400 people, so they can watch zoo keepers train the elephants.

Oklahoma City Zoo
The boardwalk allows visitors to see the elephants from above.

While elephants garner a large section of the 119 acres that encompass it, the zoo is home to other interesting attractions. Perhaps the second largest exhibit was the hoofed animals. Led by a few giraffes, the area included Grevy’s zebras grazing nearby.  Gazelles, African deer and small Guinea fowl also call the area home.

Giraffes near tree at the Oklahoma City Zoo
The giraffe area resembles the grasslands area in Africa.

The Pachyderm Building features Indian rhinoceroses, as well as the endangered Black rhino. Wild birds are also located the building.

An Indian rhino at the Oklahoma City Zoo
An Indian rhino enjoys a meal near the Pachyderm Building.

Primates have more than three acres of land to traverse in the Great EscApe exhibit. We noticed a couple of young apes playing around, and likely annoying, a few older ones. I can spend a lot of time watching apes as they sit, stroll or play. Their facial expressions resemble humans’, which make me smile.

Apes sitting on a hillside at the Oklahoma City Zoo
Apes can be fun to watch.

Great views at the Oklahoma City Zoo

It was a warm day during our visit, so our visit to the large cat section was limited to viewing lions, tigers and cheetahs taking naps and cooling off in the shade.

A snow leopard enjoys some shade on a warm day at the Oklahoma City Zoo
A snow leopard enjoys some shade on a warm day.

While the Oklahoma City Zoo has an attractive line-up of animals from other continents, its North American creatures provide an opportunity to learn history and get a close-up view of some of our continent’s wildlife.

A brown bear enjoys some fun in the water at the Oklahoma City Zoo
A brown bear enjoys some fun in the water.

Black and brown (grizzly) bears can be found in the Oklahoma Trails area. Bison roam a decently-sized pasture. Other North American animals that can be seen include the bald eagle, river otters and prairie dogs.

A bison eating at the Oklahoma City Zoo
Two bison patrol their area of the zoo.

A stroll along the zoo’s lake provides a beautiful view of the shoreline, as well as an opportunity to see fish jump out of the water for pellets that you can buy for a quarter. You can also feed a peacock, if you’re lucky.

A brown bear enjoys some fun in the water at the Oklahoma City Zoo
A brown bear enjoys some fun in the water.

The Oklahoma City Zoo also features animals from Asia, snakes, lizards, as well as marine animals, such as seals.

We strongly recommend visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo. Plan to spend 2-4 hours at the zoo when you visit, as you’ll want to enjoy everything it offers.

For more information on the zoo, please visit www.okczoo.org.

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Oklahoma City visitors bureau for the complimentary admission, but all opinions and views are ours.