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New sculpture debuts today at St. Louis Zoo

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Sculptor Albert Paley (L) helps guide the final piece, a 2-ton, 11 foot-long rhinoceros, into place at the St. Louis Zoo's \"Animals Always\" on Thursday. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – People will get their first chance to the St. Louis Zoo's newest addition.

The Animals Always sculpture officially opens today (Friday) and it will be hard to miss. It weighs 100 tons, stretches 130 feet, and stands three stories tall.

Sculptor Albert Paley says the finished product even surpassed his expectations because that corner of the zoo had previously been so cluttered with trees and brush.

"Gas mains had to be moved, water mains had to be moved. But also opening that site up, it really gave it a sense of space to allow the piece to breathe," Paley said in an interview Thursday.

The massive "Animals Always" sculpture came to town on 15 flat bed trucks and features sculptures of endangered animals. It stands at the southeast corner of the Zoo, near Hampton and I-64, and is being billed as the largest public zoo sculpture in the world.

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