WWW.CITISCAPES.COM | 41 visitors can see the animals all the time. For example, zoo guests can visit the Helmerich Sea Lion Cove to watch our California sea lions enjoying their temperature-controlled saltwater habitat no matter how cool the weather.” The Tulsa Zoo provides the animals with a choice of where to spend their time whenever possible. To be sure the animals stay comfortable, they have access to their indoor dens so they can warm up at any time they please. “Zoos are intimately aware of the weather,” says curator of mammals Jordan Piha. “We follow temperature guidelines so that animals that are sensitive to colder temperatures are provided with access to warm places and extra materials, like straw, that help with insulation.” Many of the animal habitats have warm spots where animals may go for supplemental warmth and shelter, such as heated rocks for the tigers in Lost Kingdom. Visitors, too, are treated to warm spots, with indoor spaces throughout the 84-acre facility. With an immersive rainforest exhibit, the Robert J. LaFortune WildLIFE Trek encompassing four buildings highlighting different habitats, the Conservation Center, and now, Lost Kingdom, guests will find many indoor areas to explore. On some days it’s too cold for the giraffes to go outside to explore, but, for the first time, guests will be able to see these majestic animals on even the most frigid days. The newly expanded Osage Casino & Hotel Giraffe Barn more than doubles the indoor space and adds year- round viewing. The barn expansion opened in time for a newly expanded herd when Ohe, the giraffe calf, was born on July 22. For those animals whose natural physiology doesn’t provide for fun in the snow, zookeepers bring the fun to them. Guests can observe zookeepers finding clever ways to keep the animals busy and stimulated inside at the Chimpanzee Connection, Lost Kingdom or Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve. This kind of animal care, called enrichment, is practiced all year at the Tulsa Zoo with every animal species. Enrichment encourages natural behaviors and is important for the physical and psychological well-being of all animals. The art of enrichment is to keep things consistently inconsistent. This can be anything from providing bubbles for the penguins to introducing novel scents to the large cats. One might presume that chilly weather is a penguin paradise, but not for all penguins, such as the Tulsa Zoo’s African penguin colony. Native to South Africa, this endangered species lives in a temperate climate. “They have the option of coming inside on freezing days and will not be on exhibit if it’s below 25 degrees,” according to zookeeper Seana Flossic. “They are not big fans of the snow and would rather not walk in it!” So, are you hardier than a penguin? If so, bundle up and come visit the animals that like to be out in the cold. If the chill is too much, visit the warm buildings where exotic birds free- roam, primates call and reptiles can be discovered peeking from behind the foliage. They are warm as can be. ■ Visit tulsazoo.org for more information about a winter visit to the Tulsa Zoo. Since 1948 Sustained Sustained Sustained Excellence Excellence Excellence 1722 n Starr Dr., Fayetteville · (479) 442-4554 www.sjfayschool.com · Pre-K-8th Grades Be more than a leader. Influence for good. Red Panda, Photo by Dr. Jen Kilburn African Penguins