Tulsa Zoo's Sea Lions Move To Oklahoma City

Monday, September 21st 2009, 7:27 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- It's bon voyage to the Tulsa Zoo's popular sea lions. Briney and Dorsey are temporarily moving to the Oklahoma City Zoo while a new sea lion exhibit is being built in Tulsa.

Tulsa's resident sea lions are about to take the 90 minute drive down the turnpike.

Fans came to bid farewell to 16-year-old Dorsey, the 382 pound male, and 23-year-old Briney, a mere 172 pound female. But how do you move all that muscle and blubber?

"Maybe they have a truck with a little water in it or something," one child told The News On 6.

"They might get them down there by an airplane," said another child.

While the kids wonder if sea lions wear seat belts, The News On 6 wanted to know what Briney and Dorsey would come home to in two years.

"It's a 100,000 gallon saltwater pool. There will be areas for viewing the sea lions up close where the trainers can call the sea lions up and have them perform behaviors," said Terrie Correll, Tulsa Zoo Director.

"I've heard that they're going to have an underwater viewing and I think that will be great," said Joy Boggs, of Broken Arrow.

The new sea lion habitat will cost $5 million, raised by Tulsa Zoo friends and City of Tulsa capital improvement funds. The zoo hopes to start in late winter and expects the project to take a year to a year and a half to complete.


"They could have a truck with a pool in the back of it and some land too," said one child, in reference to how to move the sea lions.

"I think they would get them down the same way they would get an orca down. They would probably use a special machine to get them out of the water," one child said.

They are all creative ideas, but the answer isn't as fun.

"They will crate and we will load them into a moving truck and drive them down to Oklahoma City," said Terrie Correll, Tulsa Zoo Director.

The new exhibit will be able to house four or five sea lions, so Dorsey and Briney will have more friends.

9/20/09  Related Story: Tulsa Zoo's Sea Lions Moving To Oklahoma City