Close Encounters at Tulsa Zoo

There are some wild things going on at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Zoo and it makes our hearts sing!

The city-owned, city-grown, not for profit animal attraction, is celebrating its 90th year of operation.  Through the generous donations of various organizations like Improve Our Tulsa, which raised $3.7M for the new tiger and snow leopard exhibits, Tulsa Zoo now features more than 1,500 animals representing over 436 different species.

The rarest of the animals are found deep in the heart of the zoo, in its newest multi-species exhibit complex, appropriately named Lost Kingdom.

Its architectural landscape was inspired by ancient Asian culture, taking design cues from the city of Angkor-Wat in Cambodia. Spanning over 3.5 acres, Lost Kingdom is home to some of Asia’s rarest and most elusive species, including red pandas, siamangs, binturongs (bearcat) and the prehistoric Komodo dragon. Yes, up to 10-feet long, 200 pounds, meat-loving Komodo dragons!

As you venture into the complex designed by PGAV Destinations, there is much to see and do. There are large interactive exhibit spaces with gigantic glass windows which showcase the animals in their naturalistic habitats. Pass under a bridge made only for the Malayan tigers to go back and forth between their expansive outdoor spaces. Visitors can take advantage of the scheduled animal training sessions which give guests an opportunity to watch the zookeepers interact with the animals.

The Hille Foundation Tiger Bridge allows the Malayan tigers to walk above zoo visitors to travel between outdoor spaces.

Lost Kingdom is designed to provide visitors with an immersive experience where they feel like they have stepped back in time, into a forgotten land filled with ancient ruins and intriguing endangered animals. Naturally, the same kind of experience extends to the Lost Kingdom’s only dine-in restaurant, George Kaiser Family Foundation Rajan’s, an upscale pizza paradise.

The new venue was designed with Oklahoma’s changing weather in mind. In Tulsa, the summers are hot and humid; the winters are short, very cold, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year-round.

Once you’re inside the spacious restaurant, none of that matters. Rajan’s has a climate controlled indoor section perfect for watching the big game, with multiple screens and beer on tap. Patrons can also enjoy a selection of flatbread pizzas, salads or sandwiches at this deliciously decadent restaurant.

If you prefer a wild dining experience, the outdoor patio section of Rajan’s is the best spot in the house. Seated under a forest of ShadeFX canopies, patrons can get up-close and personal with the Malayans tigers. And to ensure you can take a walk on the wild side whether rain or shine, at the push of a button, the three motorized units can be easily retracted or extended.

With Tulsa Zoo opening its doors for 363 days of the year, outdoor protection is a pretty big deal. Luckily, general contractors on the project Atlas Construction Group, with the help of contractors Play by Design, made sure that this indoor/outdoor complex could be enjoyed all year round, regardless of the weather.

Extend the time you spend on your patio. Give us a call.