Tulsa Zoo set to receive $11.75 million from Improve our Tulsa for new projects, renovations

TULSA - Tulsa Zoo is set to benefit greatly from the "Improve our Tulsa" package.

Voters are set to go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to approve a $918 million package for projects around Tulsa.

If the package is passed, the Tulsa Zoo is set to receive $11.75 million to help renovate and build new exhibits for failing facilities and buildings in their master plan.

Zoo officials say the money will help build a world-class institution and help bring a new experience to people visiting the park.

Of that, $3.75 million will help build a new tiger and snow leopard exhibit with other matching funds coming from private donations. The other $8 million will include demolition of the current facility holding the park's lions and help to build a new exhibit to hold the carnivores.

Frequent zoo visitors say the new projects are long overdue.

"I think the zoo could definitely benefit from such improvements and I think it's time to update things here. Otherwise we're going to get left behind...It's time that the Tulsa Zoo steps up to the plate to be competitive as an attraction,"said Beth Clary, a mother of three.

Zoo officials say without the investment in the Tulsa Zoo, they fear they could lose their USDA license for failing facilities.

The Tulsa Zoo is looking to spend $154 million over 20 years to help build new facilities at the park as part of their "Master Plan."

According to zoo officials, 550,000 people visit the park every year helping to bring in $28 million into the local economy.

Zoo official say if the package is not passed, they will seek private dollars and other public funds to help complete their plan.

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