St. Louis Zoo

Established in 1910, Saint Louis Zoo is located in St. Louis, Missouri. The zoo is believed to be the first in the world that a community supported by passing a mill tax.

The zoo's mission is to appreciate and conserve animals and their habitats through educational and recreational experiences, research and animal management. The zoological park is divided into six zones: River's¬ Edge, The¬ Wild, Discovery¬ Corner, Historic¬ Hill, Red¬ Rocks and Lakeside¬ Crossing.

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 led to the formation of St. Louis Zoological Society in 1910, which began the gradual process to establish the zoological park. A 77-acre parcel in Forest Park was set aside by the City of St. Louis.

From its inception, the zoo saw steady growth:

  • The first unit, Bear Pits, was completed in 1921.
  • Primate House, a major construction project built in the Spanish style, was opened in 1924. It was a large, central exhibit with display cages along the walls. In 1926, a chimpanzee show was conducted in that building.
  • The following year, the Reptile House was constructed.
  • In 1961, the Aquatic House was opened near the children's area, between the central plaza and the south lake.
  • The Zooline Railroad was constructed for children; a golden spike was driven into its track in August 1963.
  • Following renovation, the 1904 Flight Cage with an elevated walkway was reopened to the public in 1967.
  • The Charles H. Yalem Children's Zoo, featuring river otters, lorikeets, meerkats, and a play area, was constructed in 1969.
  • Saint Louis Zoo is a place of science, learning and education that houses more than 9,200 animals of some 800 species. It organizes various programs for individuals, families, school groups and educators. It also operates a veterinary hospital and a research department.