|Saint Louis ZOO
in Forest Park
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Polar bear "Kali" enjoyed playing with a trash can in the 50,000-gallon Polar Bear Dive Pool as visitors took photos through the glass viewing wall with their cell phones during a media preview, June 4, at the Saint Louis Zoo's new McDonnell Polar Bear Point.
FedEx Delivers Playful Polar Bear and $10,000 Donation to Saint Louis Zoo
(L - R) Dr. Jeffrey Bonner, Danna Brown President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo was delighted to receive a $10,000 donation delivered in a FedEx envelope from Neil Gibson, Vice President, Communications, FedEx Service. Bob Dreher, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Associate Director and Virginia Albanese, President and Chief Executive of Fed Ex Custom Critical were seated on the dais behind the podium for the presentation.
Visitors to McDonnell Polar Bear Point can check out a new gift shop with bear-themed items including native arts, handmade crafts, t-shirts, hats and plush toys.
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), June 4, 2015 - Two years ago, Zoo officials proudly unveiled plans to build a special habitat for polar bears and build on public awareness of the impact of climate change on conservation efforts and the plight of the iconic species.
During a media preview, June 4, major donors to The Living Promise Campaign were treated to a special tour of the $16 million McDonnell Polar Bear Point and it's first inhabitant, Kali (pronounced "Cully"), a 2 1/2-year-old, 850-pound male polar bear that was orphaned in Alaska as a cub.
Virginia Albanese, President and Chief Executive of Fed Ex Custom Critical, provide logistics on transporting Kali from the Buffalo Zoo to the Saint Louis Zoo.
"He had a very good trip here. In case you're wondering, he didn't fit into a regular FedEx envelope or box," she said with a smile.
"We worked with the Zoo to make sure he was in a specially-designed aluminum crate. The bear was flown from Rochester by FedEx Express aircraft to Memphis and then transported in a temperature-controlled truck to the Zoo. Along the way, the truck stopped every half hour so that Zoo staff could check on Kali's condition," said Albanese.
Neil Gibson, Vice President, Communications, FedEx Service, announced that FedEx was making a $10,000 donation to the Saint Louis Zoo to support their conservation efforts.
"This wonderful habitat shows our commitment to protecting polar bears, which are declining in the wild and are highly vulnerable," said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Zoo. "By working to not only conserve polar bears in the wild but to offer a wonderful habitat for breeding and caring for bears, we can help save these iconic animals."
Kali's new home next to Penguin & Puffin Coast in The Wild section at the Zoo transitions seamlessly from sea to coastline to land. The "sea" area features an arctic cave room with an expansive glass viewing wall where visitors can peer deeply into the 50,000-gallon Polar Dive Pool. This large glass panel also offers a split view into and across the pool and on to Bear Beach, created with sand, pebbles and rock formations.
The moraine or "coastline" offers a scenic view that includes carved rock made to look as if it was formed by glaciers. It also features a large panoramic view with nine curved, faceted glass panels spanning 55 feet and offering a view of Bear Beach.
The grassy "tundra" area provides a unique polar bear interaction area, where visitors can observe bear behavior up close at a glass/mesh door as keepers offer enrichment or go through training exercises with this remarkable animal. This observation area is in the center of a seven-panel, 48-foot curved, panoramic glass viewing wall.
The habitat more than doubles the space of the old polar bear area, where visitors enjoyed seeing Zoo polar bears from the 1920s until 2009. The Polar Bear Point can accommodate up to five bears in the future.
Through Sept. 7, 2015, the Zoo is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday for Prairie Farms Summer Zoo Weekends. The Zoo will close at noon on Friday, June 19, because of ZOOFARI, the Zoo's biennial fundraiser.
The Zoo will be open until 7 p.m. on Independence Day Weekend, July 3-5; and Labor Day, Sept. 7. Starting Sept. 8, the Zoo's hours return to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
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 $11 per day. Parking for buses, motor homes and R.V.s is $22 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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