Thursday, August 13, 2015

St. Louis Zoo

Tuesday I took a much need day off work. My sister, two nieces and I enjoyed perfect weather at the St. Louis Zoo. After suffering through weeks of hideous humidity we definitely deserved a day like this:)

The main attraction we wanted to see was Kali the new polar bear and the newly reconstructed habitat. Kali is 2 1/2 years old and already weighs 850 pounds. He was orphaned after an Alaska Native hunter killed his mother in a subsistence hunt - not realizing she had a cub. He arrived in St. Louis this summer.  The hope is to find him a mate and perhaps have cubs in the future.

Between 8-9 a.m. the keeper prepare his habitat with food and enrichment activities. We were there to watch him find lettuce in a suspended barrel, meat on a bed of ice and various other ice piles that he munched on and laid in. You can see a couple more pictures of his cuteness on yesterday's post.
As I mentioned a few days ago I have a bit of a fascination for flamingos (or fladingos as my family calls them). I wouldn't mind a pond full of them at my house :)

My niece worked at the zoo for several years. It was interesting to hear all her behind the scenes factoids. One fun tip she gave us was how to get the gorillas to come close to the viewing windows. Sit in the window with your back to them. Apparently, it is a sign of respect. It didn't work this day because the four bachelor gorillas were too busy gathering up food from the yard and getting into hoarding position to eat. It was fun to watch their antics and posturing.

A lovely lion couple. Apparently the male is quite obsessed with his Swedish lioness.
It is a rough lion life.
The ostriches share a yard with the giraffes. The giraffes were still inside. On other visits we have watched these bad birds harass the baby giraffes - the parents don't seem to mind. I guess they figure the babies need to learn to fend for themselves.
It is a bit startling to see the evidence of the city that surrounds the zoo.This is the Banteng - wild cow of Southeast Asia.
Somali Wild Ass
This trip was the first time I went through the sea lion / seal tunnel that was built a few years ago. The nice thing about early on a weekday is not nearly the crowds. I could have watched these guys for hours.

A capybara - cousin to the guinea pig.
The hippos lounging underwater while the fish clean their skin. The little bubbles were fascinating.
The youngest of the elephants enjoyed some pool time.
Reaching for a snack and a sneak peek inside that that big mouth.
On our way out we stopped to see the polar bear one more time. This time he was having a grand time playing with a barrel in his pool.
I am always wowed by this life sized models in the education center.

Of course, there was a little shopping in the newly remodeled gift shop. So many interesting things so little money :)
At the risk of making you all jealous, I have to tell you this zoo is FREE. Yes, free! Of course, there are some additional attractions within the zoo that have small charges (i.e. railroad, carousel, etc.) We paid for parking and lunch - although if you are willing to walk a block or two you can find free parking and bring your own lunch for a super cheap day of fun.

I remembered to wear my Garmin and was surprised to see I ended up walking 5 miles! 

I can't wait to go back. If I lived closer I think I would want to go walking and photographing there every day :)


  1. I love the St. Louis zoo! One of my favorite things to do when I lived near there was to run to the zoo. It always made it more fun. Plus, then I could get some mid run dippin' dots :)

    1. Okay, I confess we had some ice cream too :) I was very surprised we walked 5 miles.

  2. I love going to the zoo and the aquarium here... at the aquarium, there's a huge tank of "big fish" and a huge sea turtle as well... I could sit there for hours, just watching those guys swim around and interact!

    1. I have heard of fish tanks being prescribed to lower blood pressure - it can be quite relaxing.

  3. Yay for a free zoo. How cool!

    I will have to try that gorilla tip next time I go to our zoo.

    1. Everyone should have a free zoo. Let me know how the gorilla meet and greet goes.

  4. What a wonderful Zoo! Beautiful pictures!!

  5. Oh I love the zoo! Nice that it was free! You need to add me to garmin connect! In fact, I need to add all the Lovely Ladies who use garmin.

    1. I haven't added anyone yet. I will try to look into that this weekend.

  6. Gorgeous pictures! I'm definitely trying that gorilla trick next time I'm at our zoo. :)