Saint Louis Zoo

Stephanie Richmond / Courtesy of the St. Louis Zoo

The Asian elephant herd at the Saint Louis Zoo is about to grow again.

The Zoo announced today that Ellie is pregnant with a female calf. It's her fourth pregnancy and third birth - she miscarried in 2010 at 36 weeks. The typical elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months, so Ellie's latest calf is due in the spring of 2013.

The Zoo says typical newborn elephants weigh between 250 and 350 pounds.

(wwarby via Flickr)

Unlike their cold-weather relatives, Humboldt penguins live only in South America, along the rocky Pacific coast of Chile and Peru.

The Saint Louis Zoo’s Michael Macek has been monitoring the penguins there, tracking their health and numbers.

Macek is back in Peru again, in a coastal reserve called Punta San Juan, where Humboldt penguins nest by the thousands.

Before he left, he told St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra that this time he’s helping to lead a sustainable guano harvest.

via Flickr/Derringdos

St. Louis Zoo officials say the deaths of three harbor seals in transit from Canada to St. Louis last month were due to exertional myopathy, or a disease of the muscles. The disease was likely brought on by the stress of travel.

Robin Winkelman/Saint Louis Zoo

St. Louis' population has increased by one - well, at least at the Saint Louis Zoo.

A baby colobus monkey was born on June 30. It does not have a name yet because its gender is still uncertain.

Ingrid Porton, curator of primates at the Zoo, said the baby monkey's mother, Roberta, was once thought to be post-reproductive - but with the birth of two babies since she came to the Zoo in 2010, "happily she proved this to be quite incorrect.”

You can catch a glimpse of the new baby, Roberta and the whole colobus monkey family at the Zoo. They are all now on exhibit.

Robin Winkelman/Saint Louis Zoo

Starting this Saturday, visitors to the Saint Louis Zoo will have their first chance to check out a new sea lion exhibit.

The 1.5 acre, $18 million habitat will house 11 California sea lions in a large saltwater pool. There’s also an arena for sea lion shows.

Derringdos / Flickr

Updated 10:34 a.m. June 13, 2012 with announcement of third seal death.

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced the death of a third seal (the one which was left at the Indianapolis Zoo for observation and treatment). The seal, Cri Cri, was 19 years old. 

A necropsy will be performed by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University to try to find the cause of death of Cri Cri. Necropsies were performed for the other two seals who died by the Saint Louis Zoo's veterinary pathologist.

Ed Spevak / Saint Louis Zoo

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is launching a new initiative to try to create some buzz about bees.

Agriculture Director Jon Hagler says “The Great Missouri Buzz Off” aims to educate Missourians about bees and beekeeping.

“Whether it be honeybees, or native bees, they’re so vital to our agriculture’s success, and to our horticulture’s success, and we have such amazing resources here in our state,” Hagler said.

(via Saint Louis Zoo)

The American burying beetle is coming back – more than three decades since it was last spotted in Missouri.

The Saint Louis Zoo and the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Tuesday that they have gotten approval to reintroduce the beetle at the Wah'Kon-Tah Prairie in southwest Missouri. Up to 150 breeding pairs will be placed in underground with dead animals for food - the process starts in June.

(via Flickrvenomgfx)

In the weird and wacky news category today, at least one penguin at the St. Louis Zoo appears to be a feisty opponent of Newt Gingrich - or at least one of his fingers.

The Republican presidential candidate is sporting a small bandage on his finger after getting nipped by a small penguin during his tour of the zoo on Friday. Gingrich was in St. Louis to speak during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting.

(photo by Rachael Macy/Saint Louis Zoo)

Two newborn lion cubs are being raised by staff at the Saint Louis Zoo more than a month after their birth, but two other cubs in the litter have died.

The African lion cubs were born Feb. 14 to the 6-year-old lioness Cabara. The zoo said Tuesday that two did not survive because Cabara couldn't produce enough milk to feed them. Zoo officials say it is not uncommon for lion mothers in the wild to rear fewer than 50 percent of the cubs born in a litter.