STL Zoo Now No 1 in Nation

Saint Louis Zoo Chosen as Nation's "Best Zoo"

The Saint Louis Zoo was chosen as the top winner in the "Best Zoo" category of the 10Best Readers' Choice Awards contest sponsored by USA Today. The Saint Louis Zoo was among 20 nominated U.S. zoos, all accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and hand-picked by a panel of zoo and family travel experts.

Visitors to 10Best.com were asked to vote for their favorite U.S. zoo from Feb. 27 to March 27. The results of the top 10 were announced today.

"After being voted America's Top Free Attraction in 2016, we're humbled to be chosen now as the Best Zoo by our dedicated fans in the St. Louis region, across Missouri and friends around the country," said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. "Our visitors, volunteers, members, generous donors, employees, and especially the taxpayers of St. Louis City and St. Louis County are the real champions. It's through their strong support that we can provide superior care for the animals, save wildlife in wild places, connect people with nature, and offer a great place to spend time with friends and family members."

The top 10 Best Zoos list includes:

1. Saint Louis Zoo - St. Louis
2. Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – Omaha
3. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Tucson
4. Fort Worth Zoo - Fort Worth
5. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden - Columbia, S.C.
6. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - Colorado Springs
7. San Diego Zoo - San Diego
8. Brookfield Zoo – Chicago
9. Audubon Zoo - New Orleans
10. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – Cleveland

On its website, USA Today offered this description of the Saint Louis Zoo: "Situated within the nation's largest urban park, the free-to-the-public St. Louis Zoo features a stunning diversity of animals — more than 600 species in total. The zoo is divided into six zones, including Lakeside Crossing where the award-winning Sea Lion Sound combines a stellar exhibit experience with educational presentations and shows. At River's Edge, visitors journey along the Amazon backwaters in South America, through the African savanna, across North American wetlands and deep into an Asian forest to see everything from hippos, African dogs and hyenas to giant anteaters and Andean bears."

About the Saint Louis Zoo
Chosen as America's Top Free Attraction and Best Zoo in USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Zoo attracts more than 3,000,000 visitors a year. For more information, visit stlzoo.org, facebook.com/stlzoo, twitter.com/stlzoo, instagram.com/stlzoo, youtube.com/stlzoo.

Of course we always knew that the St. Louis Zoo was #1

BUT, when was the last time you were there?
Plan to go again by first checking out https://www.stlzoo.org

REMEMBER THESE?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And, of course, our beloved Phil.
 
Then there was the wonderful

Marlin and Carol Perkins

Marlin Perkins was born in Carthage, Missouri, on March 28, 1905. He was interested in animals throughout his life. At the age of seven, he was creating his own zoo: a collection of mostly snakes, mice, earthworms and toads on his Aunt Laura's farm where he lived for nine years following the death of his mother, Mynta Mae (Miller) Perkins. Later Marlin moved back home to Carthage with his father, Jasper County lawyer and judge, Joseph Dudley Perkins.

Marlin's interest in animals continued to grow, and he enrolled in zoology at the University of Missouri -- Columbia. At the age of 21, he quit school to apply for work at the Saint Louis Zoo. He was hired on the spot as a member of the grounds crew, $3.75 a week.

From 1938 to 1944 Marlin was director of the New York Zoological Gardens in Buffalo. In 1944 he was hired by the Lincoln Park Zoo as director. It was in Chicago in 1945 that Marlin's career moved into television. He became a national figure with a live show called "Zoo Parade," a program featuring animals from Lincoln Park Zoo. With this program, Marlin utilized the theatrics of animal behavior by displaying an animal live on the air and accompanying it with a monologue on the animal's habitat, behavior and genetic history. In 1949, the program went national and was carried coast to coast until its end in 1955.

In 1962 Marlin returned to the Saint Louis Zoo as its second full-time director and began working on "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom," which earned four Emmys. In his programs, Marlin followed migrating reindeer in Lapland, hog-tied alligators in the marshes of the Florida Everglades, and dived into the water off Australia's Great Barrier Reef looking for sea serpents. He televised travels through the world's jungles, velds and deserts -- places few of his viewers had ever seen.

Marlin received an American Education Award in 1974 and was granted honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri -- Columbia; Northland College in Ashland, WI.; Rockhurst College in Kansas City, MO.; MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL.; and College of St. Mary in Omaha, NE. He retired as director of the Saint Louis Zoo in 1970 but remained active in community and conservation projects up to the time of his death. He died on June 14, 1986, of cancer at his home in Clayton, MO. In 1991 the Saint Louis Zoo founded the Marlin Perkins Society, to carry on his dream for conserving endangered species and nurturing their existence.

 
Remember this?

And of course this.

 
Click on the movie below to view one of the early episodes of "Wild Kingdom"
 
But do you know what animal was chosen to represent the St. Louis Zoo?
And who was it that made the choice?

 

 

The animal is called the Lesser Kudu. It is a forest antelope found in East Africa. The head-and-body length is typically 43–55 in. Males reach about 37–41 in. at the shoulder, while females reach 35–39 in. Males typically weigh 203–238 lb and females 123–154 lb.  The spiral horns are 20–28 in long, and have two to two-and-a-half twists.

A pure browser, the lesser kudu feeds on foliage from bushes and trees, shoots, twigs, and herbs. The lesser kudu is mainly active at night and during the dawn, and seeks shelter in dense thickets just after the sunrise. The lesser kudu exhibits no territorial behaviour, and fights are rare. While females are gregarious, adult males prefer being solitary. No fixed breeding season is seen; births may occur at any time of the year. The lesser kudu inhabits dry, flat, and heavily forested regions.

The lesser kudu is native to Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, but it is extinct in Djibouti. The total population of the lesser kudu has been estimated to be nearly 118,000, with a decreasing trend in populations. One-third of the populations survive in protected areas. Presently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) rates the lesser kudu as "Near Threatened".

Carol Perkins was given the task of picking an
animal to represent the St. Louis zoo.
After look at all the animal she finally selected
the Lesser Kudu.  She said she chose it
because it was probably one of the
least know members of the zoo family
and the St. Louis Zoo was for all animals.