Saint Louis Zoo

Located on 90 acres in Forest Park, the Saint Louis Zoo is home to more than 560 species of animals, many of them rare and endangered. It is one of the few free zoos in the nation and has been named #1 zoo by Zagat Survey's U.S. Family Travel Guide in association with Parenting magazine. The Zoo annually attracts 3 million visitors, who can see more than 18,700 wild animals--not including the thousands of leafcutter ants and butterflies at the Zoo.

Since its 1910 founding, the Zoo has been renowned for its beautiful naturalistic exhibits, its diverse collection of animals and its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education.

The Saint Louis Zoo is a world leader in saving endangered species and their habitats, leading the nation with the greatest number of active Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plans.

Through its WildCare Institute, the Zoo focuses on wildlife management and recovery, conservation science, and support of the human populations that coexist with wildlife in 12 conservation hotspots around the globe, including four in Missouri. The WildCare Institute, with the support of its conservation fellows, takes a holistic approach to troubled ecosystems by addressing wildlife management and recovery, conservation science, and support of the human populations that coexist with wildlife.

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Latitude: 38.634554 Longitude: -90.288142 Elevation: 523 ft
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Christy Childs

Seasons Open

Open year-round. Closed on Jan. 1 and Dec. 25.

Hours Open

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with extended hours in summer.


Admission to the Zoo is free. There are fees for some attractions.

Eco-Friendly Notes

As a conservation organization, we work hard to save wild things in wild places around the globe. The Saint Louis Zoo has also focused on protecting the environment through a range of waste reduction and energy and water conservation initiatives.

In 2013, the Zoo installed a solar array on the rooftop of its Safari Gift Shop. This installation includes a real-time look at the amount of generation the solar panels provide. You can track this at this site or from a digital display at the South Arrival Experience bridge leading into the Zoo!

This is only one of several projects here at the Zoo that reduce the water and energy we use and the need for landfill space. In 2015, the Green Dining Alliance certified Café Kudu restaurant in The Living World building with 4 stars. In 2013, the Saint Louis Zoo was honored with the Star Circle of Excellence Award from the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce and The Saint Louis Green Business Challenge. In 2014, the Zoo won the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter Growing Green Award for Operational Excellence. The Zoo also was awarded first place for its solar system by the St. Louis American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Chapter. The ASHRAE Technology Award contest recognizes energy efficient, green design.

The William R. Orthwein, Jr. & Laura Rand Orthwein Animal Nutrition Center's sleek, modern design incorporates many green design features making it one of only a handful of buildings in the St. Louis area to receive the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. Energy efficient and environmentally friendly features, including a green roof composed of a mixture of colorful sedum (succulent all-weather plant) species and grasses, optimized heating and cooling systems, plus the extensive use of natural light and recycled materials, will ensure compliancy with the LEED rating systems.


Here's a sampling of how the Zoo conserves resources:

Recycling - paper, plastic, cardboard, electronics, scrap metal, construction and demolition materials and much more

The Saint Louis Zoo diverted over half of its total waste from landfills in 2013. This initiative included recycling over 70 tons of cardboard, nearly 20 tons of mixed paper, nearly 66,000 pounds of scrap metal and over 5,500 tons of plastics. The Zoo also recycles all light bulbs, batteries, cooking oil, motor oil, electronics, holiday lights and construction waste. The Zoo sends approximately 2.6 million pounds of animal waste, bedding and landscape material to composting each year.

As it cleared the former Forest Park Hospital site which it recently acquired, the Zoo diverted over 80% of all construction waste for reuse, avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from transporting these wastes.


Eco-friendly in Food Service: In 2013, the Zoo's Food and Beverage Department continued to move toward a greener future by using eco-friendly products including Earth & Sky Rainforest Alliance Coffee and compostable paper products. In 2014 the Zoo is working with Saint Louis Composting in diverting hundreds of pounds of food waste from the landfill by composting the waste.


Conserving resources: Water and Horticulture

 An extensive energy audit led to the installation of point-of-use water meters to identify opportunities to reduce water--in 2013, water consumption was reduced by 15.5 million gallons from 2012 consumption. Installed in 2012, Sea Lion Sound's massive underground, highly automated Life Support System facility helps the Zoo save 11 million gallons of water annually. Other savings came from replacing leaking valves and installing variable frequency drives on pump moters at Penguin & Puffin Coast and the Hippo exhibit to reclaim water.

 New aeration systems were installed at the Zoo's cove and lakes area to improve water quality and reduce water consumption.




Accessibility Notes

In 1910, a group of community leaders interested in a zoological park in St. Louis organized the Zoological Society of St. Louis. In 1913 the Zoo was incorporated as an independent civic organization and a Zoological Board of Control named. In 1916 the citizens of St. Louis voted a tax for construction of the Saint Louis Zoo. Through the years the community continues to support the Zoo, with a third of the Zoo's budget coming from property taxes in St. Louis City and County, a third from food service, gift shops and parking lots, and a third from private donations, corporations, foundations and membership. Over 1,000 active volunteers provide more than 70,000 hours of service each year.

Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs or other pets are not allowed in the Zoo. Service animals are permitted.

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