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Home / Entertainment / After 50 years, the Children’s Zoo at St. John’s Zoo. Louis will close for good this fall | Culture Club

After 50 years, the Children’s Zoo at St. John’s Zoo. Louis will close for good this fall | Culture Club








Hypo sculpture at St. John's Zoo.  Louis

Claudia Glenn, 4, comes out of the mouth of gaming hypo in the Kids Zoo play area in this December 8, 2002 file. Claudia is the daughter of Steve and Webster Grove Laney Glenn. Hipo was created by St Louis artist Bob Cassilly. PHOTO BY SAM LEONE / PD


SAM LEONE


These are strange times. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, most of us just want a normalcy to break endless days (and weeks…

The animals from the zoo have been moved to other parts of the zoo or to other premises. Tasmanian devils remain, as well as animals such as the American rooster, burro, Cotswold sheep, domestic goat, alpaca, pot-soaked pig, North American river estuary, and some reptiles.

Dinosaur Exhibition, called Dinoroarus, will include 15 different clusters of animatronic dinosaurs, including a life-size brontosaurus and a 12-legged Tyrannosaurus rex. Live birds, descendants of dinosaurs, will round out the exhibit. The zoo hosted a dinosaur-like exhibition in 2008, but it will be larger, Bonner said. There will be an admission fee for the exhibition, but prices are not set.

St. Louis Zoo director Michael Macek said in an interview Thursday that closing the zoo was “probably one of the most difficult decisions we had to make” as the zoo looked at its finances and plans. The zoo had planned to recreate the space anyway within the next five years, based on new studies on early childhood development. Officials would like to create more of an outdoor-based space where children can discover and work. The Children’s Zoo is now more of a curated experience, he said.

“It will close in a moment,” he said. “The current circumstances have led us to believe that this is the right time to do it.”

The Zoo charged a small admission fee, which has been removed since the reopening of the zoo in June, but the fee did not cover the cost of running it. About a third of the zoo’s 3 million visitors a year visit the zoo, according to exit surveys. Zoo staff members have received pay cuts, and the zoo has cut travel and postponed several construction projects after cutting the budget by more than $ 21 million.


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