|Saint Louis ZOO
in Forest Park
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
St. Louis Zoo Chosen as Nation's #1 "Best Free Attraction"
Visitors to McDonnell Polar Bear Point at St. Louis Zoo can enjoy the playfulness of Kali, as well as the Penguin & Puffin Coast exhibit. Archived © slfp.com photo
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), September 4, 2016 - The Saint Louis Zoo today chosen as the #1 free attraction in the nation by the USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards Program.
The Saint Louis Zoo was the only zoo selected for consideration when USA Today asked visitors to its website to help pick the 10Best free attractions from a list of 20 that travel experts selected. Today results were announced, following four weeks of voting.
"We thank people throughout the nation and our region for voting for the Zoo and making this possible," said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. "We very much appreciate the support of our visitors and the hundreds of thousands who visit our social media sites regularly.
"This honor was also made possible by the strong support of the taxpayers of St. Louis city and County, our generous donors, members, volunteers and employees. They make the Saint Louis Zoo great. This is a win for the entire St. Louis region and its residents and civic leaders who have long supported and appreciated St. Louis' world-class FREE zoo," stated Bonner.
The Zoo was selected over Central Park in New York City, Balboa Park (home to San Diego Zoo) in San Diego, and Millennium Park in Chicago. Votes for the Zoo were greater than those for the Alamo, the Golden Gate Bridge and Boston's Freedom Trail. The list also included the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., among others.
In its description of the Saint Louis Zoo, USA Today reported, "the 90-acre Zoo exhibits 600 species of animals representing every continent and major biome on the planet. It
s also one of the nation's few zoos with free entry, though some exhibits and shows charge small admission fees. The zoo
s Penguin & Puffin Coast exhibit is one of the best penguin habitats in the country, with four species of penguins and two species of puffins on display."
Admission has been free at the Saint Louis Zoo since its founding in 1910. The Zoo is open every day of the year except Christmas and New Year's Day. The Zoo attracts about 3,200,000 visitors each year.
Stingrays at Caribbean Cove Now Open at Saint Louis Zoo
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - Stingrays at Caribbean Cove presented by Mercy Kids runs through Oct. 2, 2016.
Cownose rays and southern stingrays, along with bonnethead, brown-banded and white-spotted bamboo sharks glide through a 17,000-gallon warm saltwater pool located under the Edward Jones Pavilion. Guests are encouraged to dip their hands into the water and allow the animals to touch them. Occasionally, there will be an opportunity to feed the stingrays. These are hardy species that interact well with people in a safe and fun manner.
The bonnethead shark is the smallest member of the hammerhead family. They have semi-circular heads resembling a shovel or bonnet. Bamboo sharks are sometimes called "cat sharks" because the barbels, or sensory organs, near their mouths resemble cat whiskers.
The sharks at Stingrays at Caribbean Cove are small, shy and docile fish and pose no danger to humans. They range from two-and-a-half to four feet in length and are bottom-dwelling species that prey on small fish, crabs and invertebrates. Visitors will not be feeding the sharks, but they will be able to touch the sharks as they swim by.
Cownose rays and southern stingrays are related to sharks. Stingrays have flat bodies, long pointed fins and long whip-like tails that can be used for defense against predators. At Stingrays at Caribbean Cove, their stingers or barbs are painlessly clipped back just as human fingernails are clipped. Staff at the exhibit will monitor the stingrays throughout the season to ensure that the barbs stay neatly trimmed.
The 20-inch deep pool includes a waterfall and a state-of-the-art life support system. The pool also has solitary space and places for the animals to rest if they choose.
Zoo interpreters and educators will be on hand to help visitors and to share information about the animals, sustainable seafood and ocean conservation.
The Saint Louis ZOO is home to more than 3,000 animals and features Jungle of the Apes and Big Cat Country. Additional attractions include the Emerson Electric Children's Zoo, The Living World educational center, River's Edge, "Penguin & Puffin Coast," Monsanto Insectarium, Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel, sea lion shows and bird house.
Accent your office, restaurant, hotel or home with exciting images of St. Louis. For a fine art print of the 1904 World's Fair Bird Cage, see stlouisphotos.com
The World's Fair Flight Cage at the Zoo and the Saint Louis Art Museum, located north east of the Zoo, are the two structures remaining in Forest Park that were built for the 1904 World's Fair. Photos highlighting the 1904 World's Fair can be seen at the Missouri Historical Society, located in the Jefferson Memorial Building in Forest Park.
Non-summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. General admission to the Zoo is FREE. Parking on the Zoo's two lots is $15 per day. Parking for buses, motor homes and R.V.s is $30 and is available on the South Lot only. Some events and special programs may have an admission cost.
Note: Coolers and picnic baskets are permitted on the Zoo grounds. There are picnic tables located in central areas at the Zoo. All major facilities are wheelchair accessible, as are most restrooms. Wheelchairs and strollers are available to rent at The Living World and South Gate. Wheelchairs: $7 per day; motorized vehicles (limited number) available to those 18 years or older with a major credit card: $25 per day; single strollers are $7 per day; double strollers are $9 per day. For more information, please call 314-781-0900, 1-800-966-8877 or TDD: 314-768-5421.
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