You may have stayed away from the Zoo over the Fourth of July weekend, because of the festivities in Forest Park. But you have plenty of time to get there this summer. As you make your plans, here are a few things about our Zoo that might surprise you.
For example, did you know the Zoo studied camels in Kenya this year to evaluate their milk as a human beverage? Or that it documented the number of endangered Humboldt penguins in Punta San Juan, Peru?
The Saint Louis Zoo has released photos and video of one of its newest editions, a baby okapi named Umeme.
The zoo says the name is Swahili for “lightning."
Umeme, a female, weighed in at just over 52 pounds when she was born on June 17. Okapis are also known as "forest giraffes" and the zoo says they're likely endangered in the wild due to hunting and political crises in their native area of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The zoo says the animals are one of the last mammals "discovered" by the scientific community, as the "discovery" came in 1901.
Camels are known for their ability to travel long distances across the desert without water.
But they’re also becoming an increasingly important source of milk for people in drought-prone regions. That includes East African countries like Kenya, where camel numbers have skyrocketed over the past few decades.
But introducing camels — or any species — to a new region, could mean bringing in new diseases.
The St. Louis Zoo has been studying camel diseases in Kenya to help assess their risks.
Another little one has arrived at the Saint Louis Zoo -- this time it's a colobus monkey named Kivuli, which is Swahili for ghost or shadow.
The name is appropriate for her birthday Oct. 31, 2012, Halloween. Kivuli is her mother Cecilia's first baby. All colobus monkey babies are born with white hair and a pink face, and eventually change color to have predominantly black hair with white accents.
In the wild, colobus monkeys are found throughout the forests of east and central Africa. Kivuli, Cecilia and the father, Kima, are all on view now at the Zoo.