Metro-East News

Saint Louis Zoo chosen as best zoo in nation

A young visitor views a California sea lion at Sea Lion Sound at the St. Louis Zoo.
A young visitor views a California sea lion at Sea Lion Sound at the St. Louis Zoo.

Voters in a USA Today poll chose the Saint Louis Zoo as the best zoo in the country.

USA Today used online balloting to let readers vote for one of 20 zoological parks in the U.S.

The Saint Louis Zoo finished ahead of second-place Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium and third-place Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

An article announcing the top finishers described the Saint Louis Zoo this way: “Situated within the nation’s largest urban park, the free-to-the-public St. Louis Zoo features a stunning diversity of animals – more than 600 species in total. The zoo is divided into six zones, including Lakeside Crossing where the award-winning Sea Lion Sound combines a stellar exhibit experience with educational presentations and shows. At River’s Edge, visitors journey along the Amazon backwaters in South America, through the African savanna, across North American wetlands and deep into an Asian forest to see everything from hippos, African dogs and hyenas to giant anteaters and Andean bears.”

Zoo president Jeffrey Bonner said, “After being voted America’s Top Free Attraction in 2016, we’re humbled to be chosen now as the Best Zoo by our dedicated fans in the St. Louis region, across Missouri and friends around the country. Our visitors, volunteers, members, generous donors, employees, and especially the taxpayers of St. Louis City and St. Louis County are the real champions. It’s through their strong support that we can provide superior care for the animals, save wildlife in wild places, connect people with nature, and offer a great place to spend time with friends and family members.”