ANIMAL OF THE WEEK
AT THE SAINT LOUIS ZOO
One of the first things you
notice about this graceful little antelope is its big nose! The
Speke's gazelle's nose actually has an important purpose: it is
partly responsible for the animal's loud alarm call. The Speke's
gazelle is among the smallest gazelles and have a tan back, accented
by a white underside and rump, and dark bands on the side. Both
sexes have S-shaped horns with upward-curving tips. Speke's gazelles
graze on grass, herbs, shrubs and other plants. They can often
survive a long time without water - a useful adaptation in their dry
habitat. Speke's gazelles are social animals. They live in herds of
five to 12 animals.
The Saint Louis Zoo is set
in the rolling hills, lakes and glades of Forest Park. It is recognized as a
leading zoo in animal management, research, conservation, and education.
Admission is free, although there are fees for some attractions. The Saint Louis Zoo has been named #1 zoo by Zagat Survey's U.S. Family Travel Guide
in association with Parenting magazine. The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the top
attended zoos in the nation with over 3,000,000 people visiting the zoo each
The formation of the
Saint Louis Zoo began with the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis
World's Fair.) The Smithsonian Institution constructed the walk-through Bird
Cage, the largest free-flight aviary in the world and still an attraction at
the Zoo. Ten days after the Exposition closed, the citizens of St. Louis
chose to buy the Bird Cage for rather than have it dismantled and returned
to Washington, D.C. In 1910 the Zoological Society of St. Louis was formed
and in 1913 the City of St. Louis set aside 77 acres in Forest Park for a
zoo. State legislation provided that "the zoo shall be forever
free," which has kept the Zoo accessible to millions of visitors ever
since. In 1916 the citizens of St. Louis voted a tax for construction of the
Saint Louis Zoo. It is said that this was the first zoo in the world supported
by a community tax.
The Saint Louis Zoo is home to more
than 22,000 exotic animals, many of them rare and endangered. The over 800
species represented at the Zoo come from all the major continents and biomes
of the world. The Saint Louis Zoo was one of the first zoos in the world to
replace barred cages with open, moated enclosures. In the early 1920s, five
grottos for bears were literally molded from limestone palisades along the
Mississippi River. Historic Hill is one of the oldest parts of the Saint Louis Zoo
and includes the 1904 Bird Cage and the Spanish architectural flavor of
the 1920s Bird House, Primate House and Herpetarium. In the Red Rocks area
lions, tigers, zebra, and giraffes have outdoor enclosures with natural
rocky boulders and outcroppings.
of the Zoo's newer exhibits is the River's edge. The Zoo's first
immersion exhibit, this 10-acre lushly planted naturalistic environment
showcases multiple species from around the world including hippos, rhinos,
and elephants as well as the newest exhibits featuring African Painted Dogs
and several species of bears. Other newer additions include Penguin & Puffin Coast
(the penguins are off exhibit for 2014 while a polar bear habit is being
the Insectarium. Children will love the petting area and animals shows of
the Children's Zoo, the Conservation Carousel with 64 hand-carved animal
figures of endangered species, and the Zooline Railroad.
Visiting the Saint
The Zoo is open year round, except December
25 and January 1.
Summer hours are 8 am to 7 pm, Memorial Day
weekend through Labor Day.
Non-summer hours are 9 am to 5 pm.
are some days that the Zoo closes early for special events or holidays.
Check the link to the Zoo's website below for details.
Admission to the Saint Louis Zoo is free. There are
fees for Zooline Railroad, Sea Lion Show, Children's Zoo, Conservation
Carousel, Wild Adventure simulator, and the 3-D movie. The Conservation
Carousel and Children's Zoo are free the first hour the Zoo is open.
Forest Park Trolley Service
The Metro Forest Park Trolley Service line offers visitors to the
park an easy way of getting around to Forest Park’s attractions.
Trolley runs from April 15 through September 4. There are two routes. The
blue route serves the western side of the Park, with stops at the World’s
Fair Pavilion, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum and Emerson Grand
Basin. The green route serves the eastern side of Forest Park, with stops at
the Jewel Box and the Saint Louis Science Center's Planetarium. Both trolley
routes make stops at the Missouri History Museum, Dennis & Judith Jones
Visitor and Education Center, The Muny and Boathouse as well as the Forest
Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station. Two convenient Park N’ Ride options are available
for visitors. Adult Trolley fares are $2 per adult. Children 5-12, seniors
and disabled passengers ride for $1. Click here for
Directions: The Saint Louis Zoo is located in Forest Park near
Exit 34 on I-64. Pay to park lots are located near the South Entrance. There
is limited street parking near both the North and South Entrances. The St.
Louis Zoo is accessible by MetroBus. The Zoo is also accessible by MetroLink
by taking the light rail to the Forest Park station and catching the #90 bus
to the Zoo.
Learn more about the
St. Louis area.
Coordinates (South Entrance)
N 33 38.043
W 90 17.477
Coordinates (North Entrance)
N 33 38.202
W 90 17.542
- Use the official site of the
Saint Louis Zoo
for answers to all
the questions you may have.