St. Louis Zoo

Paula Poundstone
Provided

Comedian Paula Poundstone is just trying to figure things out.

Poundstone described her improv style as “accidental — same as almost everything about me.” Her comedy career started with an open mic night in 1979 in Boston. She spent time preparing for 5-minute sets, only to forget that preparation once she was on stage. Out of nervousness, she started talking to audience members and commenting on things in the room until she said she realized that was the real fun. That’s exactly what the audience can expect when Poundstone performs Saturday in St. Louis, she said.

King penguins will lead the Saint Louis Zoo parade to the new penguin habitat on March 5, 2015.
Robin Winkelman / Saint Louis Zoo

They’re back! The Saint Louis Zoo’s Penguin and Puffin Coast reopens Thursday to the public.

To kick off the celebration, a parade of king and gentoo penguins will lead the way to the exhibit at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The penguin exhibit closed in September 2013 for construction of a new polar bear exhibit that is next to the penguin habitat. The polar bear exhibit will open this summer.

ZMD Board members continue debate over ethics code language
Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

The Zoo Museum District’s Thursday meeting was defined by two events: a stymied vote about language for its new code of ethics and a recent audit of the St. Louis Zoo. 

Code of Ethics Contention

The continued discussion regarding language for a new code of ethics drew ire from those wanting to include stricter language and members preferring a more relaxed approach.  Immediately prior to a vote on which language to forward on to city, county, and board council, board member Gloria Wessels left the meeting.

If you live in St. Louis or St. Louis County, you may eventually be able to get discounts at local cultural institutions. That idea was floated Thursday by Zoo-Museum District board member Gloria Wessels.

City and county residents pay taxes that fund the five institutions of the district: the St. Louis Art Museum, Science Center, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum and Missouri Botanical Garden. Wessels told St. Louis Public Radio that it’s only fair that taxpayers get something for their money that visitors from other counties don’t.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The residents of the big birdcage aren’t as flashy or exotic as many of the 19,000 animals at the Saint Louis Zoo, but they do put on a show.

At ground level, a row of small ruddy ducks with bright blue bills follow the leader, making rippling curlicues in a swamp-like pond. Double-crested cormorants hang out on a wooden bridge, striking a pose with their outstretched wings, as visitors reach for their camera phones.   

Louise Bradshaw
Ray Meibaum | St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo has received a $1.5 million gift from the Saigh Foundation that will, in essence, create an endowed chair for the Zoo’s education department.

That department is headed by Louise Bradshaw, who will become the first Fred Saigh Director of Education.

In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, she said this provides a lot of security for the zoo’s wide-ranging educational programs.

“We’re able to reach over 1.7 million guests with the Zoo’s conservation education messages,” she said.

courtesy photo

What does the Saint Louis Zoo have to do with Africa? More than you might think. It is a founding member of the Sahara Conservation Fund, which works to protect endangered species in Africa.

“The zoo was already involved in captive breeding of these species and was really keen to get involved in the preservation of these species in the wild,” said John Newby, a conservation fellow with the Saint Louis Zoo and the CEO of the Sahara Conservation Fund.

(Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated Nov. 27 at 10:40 a.m. to correct two photo captions.

There’s a bird to be thankful for in St. Louis, but we’re not talking about turkey.

On Nov. 2, the Saint Louis Zoo welcomed yet another adorable addition, a fluffy Tawny Frogmouth chick.  Born to first-time parents, zoo keepers are taking extra precautions to ensure the chick develops properly.  

(Via Flikr/Derringsdo)

Commissioners of the Zoo-Museum District, on September 30, voted to raise the property tax rate that funds five St. Louis cultural institutions to the highest level permitted by state law.  Those institutions are the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center and Missouri History Museum.

St. Louis Zoo Unveils Updated Expansion Plans

May 1, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Zoo showcased new plans for the 13 and a half acre expansion on the southern side of interstate 64.

The plans aren’t set in stone, and the zoo is still asking for public opinion.

But it outlines a framework of where the zoo could go in the next 20 years – adding exhibits, a hotel, an upscale restaurant.

Ed Uhlir is a consultant on the expansion project, and says moving parking and adding a way for visitors to cross the interstate has to be the first move.

flickr/jennlynndesign

An Asian elephant calf is due to be born any day at the St. Louis Zoo, cause for both celebration and concern amid the backdrop of a deadly herpes virus.

The virus has killed about 25 percent of Asian elephants born in North American zoos in the past three decades. Some animal rights activists told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it is irresponsible to breed elephants knowing the presence of the virus in the herd.

Florian Schulz

Florian Schulz has two passions.  He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, but is equally dedicated to preserving the habitat of wildlife. 

Schulz’s passions led him to the Arctic where he spent 18 months in search of breathtaking images documenting life in every season.  The result is the book “To the Arctic” which is the companion to the IMAX film of the same name.

(via Saint Louis Zoo)

The St. Louis Zoo held an open house Tuesday night to launch the planning process for its expansion into the recently purchased 13.5 acre Forest Park Hospital.

David McGuire is vice president for architecture and planning at the zoo and says it might take decades to complete the expansion project.

The initial planning phase is expected to last six to eight months, and McGuire says at the end of the day adding the new site will mean the zoo can extend its mission. 

Dan Kirk

An endangered beetle will be making its Missouri comeback on Tuesday.

That's when about 250 American burying beetles will be reintroduced in the Wah’Kon-Tah prairie, about 60 miles northwest of Springfield.

It's a joint effort of the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the St. Louis Zoo.

It's been 40 years since a confirmed sighting of the insect in Missouri, and the director of the zoo’s Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation, Bob Merz, says he hopes it will get reestablished in the state.

Record attendance for St. Louis Zoo

The first four and a half months of the year have been a record one for the St. Louis Zoo, no doubt helped by an unseasonably warm winter and spring.

Officials said Monday that more than one million people had entered the Zoo’s gates in through May 13. The Zoo expects those numbers to go higher once Sea Lion Sound opens on June 30.

A year after record floods, drought conditions in southeast Missouri

What a difference a year makes in southeastern Missouri.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

US Chamber of Commerce weighs in on Missouri's GOP Senate primary

The US Chamber of Commerce has made an endorsement in the three-way Republican Senate primary in Missouri.

The chamber on Tuesday backed former Vi-Jon chairman John Brunner, saying his private sector experience in cutting spending and balancing budgets provides the best contrast with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

(via Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated 4:36 p.m. with comment from Jeffrey Bonner.

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced plans to buy the Forest Park Hospital site on Oakland Avenue, just south of Highway 40. The acquisition would allow the zoo to expand its parking, research, and office space.

The Saint Louis Zoo Association signed a conditional contract with the site owner, Medline Industries, Inc., on March 8. The price and contract terms were not disclosed.

Amy Buxton / Via Flickr

Photo taken at the St. Louis Zoo by Amy Buxton on Flickr.com.

Join the St. Louis Public Radio Flickr group to see interesting photos taken in the St. Louis region and submit your own. Each week we feature, on our website, one outstanding photo from the group.

For the first time ever, an endangered amphibian found only in a few Missouri and Arkansas counties has been successfully bred in captivity.

Officials with the St. Louis Zoo and Missouri Department of Conservation said Wednesday that 63 Ozark hellbenders have been bred at the zoo. The first hatched on Nov. 15, and an additional 120 eggs are expected to hatch within the next week.

The breeding is the result of a decade-long collaboration of the zoo and the conservation department. 

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Cardinals lose Game 5 to Texas Rangers

The Ranger's Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning against Marc Rzepczynski , and the team rallied from a two-run deficit to beat the Cardinals 4-2  last night and take a 3-2 World Series lead.

Solo home runs by Mitch Moreland in the third and Adrian Beltre in the sixth off Chris Carpenter sparked the Texas comeback. Michael Young doubled off loser Octavio Dotel leading off the eighth. Darren Oliver got the win in relief of C.J. Wilson.

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