The Saint Louis Zoo Penguins Are Back!
The Saint Louis Zoo was quite a bit busier than normal today; at least for a pretty darn cold Thursday morning in early March. At 11 am this morning, the Penguin & Puffin Coast reopened after being temporarily closed for 18 months. The exhibit was closed in late 2013 as part of the construction of the McDonnell Polar Bear Point exhibit next door.
After Gail Pennington of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch helped the Penguin Keepers with feeding breakfast to the penguins, a few of the penguins briefly made an appearance outside.
— Weatherbird (@Weatherbird) March 5, 2015
The onlookers and children that had arrived early enough were treated to the brief appearance, while many of those hoping to catch a glimpse of the “Penguin Parade” were left to wait in line to enter the exhibit in order to see those penguins in particular. Both groups of people have Mike Flieg to thank for the penguins being at the Saint Louis Zoo in the first place.
According to the Saint Louis Zoo website, Penguin and Puffin Coast is made up for four exhibits. The Dennis & Judy Jones Family Humboldt Haven is the outdoor home of the Humboldt penguins. The Lichtenstein Penguin Cove is shared by Gentoo, Rockhopper and King penguins.The walk-through cover was the first exhibit of its kind in North America. The Taylor Family Puffin Bay exhibit houses the Horned and Tufted puffins.
McDonnell Polar Bear Point is scheduled to open on June 6, 2015. It replaces the previous exhibit that had housed the polar bears from the 1920s to 2009, according to a press release. The new habitat will allow visitors to “get up-close and personal with the bears” as well as see them swim. PGAV Destinations is designing the $15 million McDonnell Polar Bear Point. The company previously designed both Penguin & Puffin Coast as well as Sea Lion Sound for the Saint Louis Zoo.
Here’s the McDonnell Polar Bear Point exhibit animation video from PGAV Destinations.
I wasn’t able to go inside Penguin & Puffin Coast today as I decided it was much more important for the throngs of children to see the exhibit today. I imagine I am like most St. Louisians when I say I don’t experience the nationally-renowned Saint Louis Zoo as much as I should. Here are some pictures I took today at the Saint Louis Zoo.
The Saint Louis Zoo is open from 9 am – 5 pm daily with minor exceptions. Admission is free but there are some exhibits and shows that tickets must be purchased for. Paid parking lots are available near most Zoo entrances. A limited amount of free parking is available on the surrounding Forest Park streets.
Thinking you need to enjoy the Saint Louis Zoo more too? Become a member of Zoo Friends.
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