Missouri's Third Wonder - The St. Louis Zoo

1 decade 3 years 8 months ago Friday, July 21 2006 Jul 21, 2006 Friday, July 21, 2006 1:52:11 PM CDT July 21, 2006 in News

Angela Hamburg trains the sea lions, and co-stars with them in three shows a day.

"Excellent swimmers and excellent divers, they can swim at speeds up to 20 miles per hour," she said. "They can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes at a time."

Before each performance, Hamburg preps the fish and squid treats.

"Ice it all down nicely," she said.

The Doolin family of Moberly brought their toddler to see the sea lions.

"She's seen them on TV, but never this close. And never when she can maybe touch one," said her mother, Emily. "Her eyes light up. It's pretty neat."

About 3 million visitors a year think the St. Louis Zoo is pretty neat, too. It's setting in Forest Park is lush with greenery and easy to navigate on foot or by mini-train.

However you get around, you'll see giraffes and ostriches. And a Malaysian sun bear taking in the view from his favorite perch. The orangutans are real crowd-pleasers, too.

Curator Steve Bircher said the wonder of the St. Louis Zoo is its residents.

"We have a very diverse collection," he explained. "If you include the invertebrates, the ants and those kinds of animals, we have over 6,000 animals at the zoo."

Including grizzly bears Bert and Ernie.

"We heard about Bert and Ernie up in Alaska," Bircher recalled. "They couldn't hold them, so I was able to fly up to Alaska and then escort these bears on a Federal Express cargo plane."

Bircher's bear trip is a long way from the zoo's beginnings as a World's Fair exhibit more than a century ago.

"We have oak trees here that are over 100 years old that were here before the World's Fair in 1904," he said.

Missouri natives aren't the only ones who consider the St. Louis Zoo a wonder.

"It's really nice," said Paula Polfliet, who's originally from California.

Now, her sons, Jeremy and Joseph, are regulars at the zoo.

"They know every place to go," Polfliet added. "They know what their favorite attractions are. They love the monkey house."

Bircher said, "We know that the children love to come to the zoo, but we see the same smiles and enjoyment from adults as well as kids."

Zagat's guidebook and Parenting Magazine ranked the St. Louis Zoo #1 in the U.S.

Speaking of rankings, watch KOMU News on Friday when Josh Deberge journeys to the place viewers picked as their second wonder of Missouri. A place where floating, fishing and fun are just part of the lure.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — For the first time in Missouri's modern history, the state is offering an elk-hunting season.... More >>
51 minutes ago Friday, April 10 2020 Apr 10, 2020 Friday, April 10, 2020 7:19:05 AM CDT April 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The share box Mike Bellman made is small and unassuming, but it represents so much more. "A... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, April 10 2020 Apr 10, 2020 Friday, April 10, 2020 5:01:00 AM CDT April 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A resident living at Cedarhurst of Columbia assisted living center has tested positive for COVID-19. Columbia/Boone County... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 10:50:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
KOMU 8's Emily Spain talked with a family communications expert about how to talk to your children about the COVID-19... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 6:59:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Before COVID-19 was even on the world’s radar, MU School of Health Professions associate professor Carolyn Orbann had... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 6:53:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is announcing up to a $2 billion dividend that will go to... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 6:23:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in Continuous News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 4:19:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson announced the closure of public and charter schools for the rest of the academic... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers report no one was injured after they investigated a shots fired call on Wednesday night.... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 3:00:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Chad Michael Kennedy, 28, of Boonville, was arrested and charged with assault, criminal action, and unlawful use... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 2:05:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, but they are continually coming up with ways to... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Food banks are starting to feel the affects of COVID-19 as Missourians are staying home. As... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 1:46:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Garrett Wiggans was hired as the new Head Coach for the girls basketball team at Helias Catholic... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 1:19:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - In a virtual press conference on Thursday, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi took questions from reporters... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 12:53:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
ELDON - The Witt Family Fireworks business has been around since 1989 and is fully family owned and operated. But... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 12:40:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - As schools nationwide are adapting to remote learning, one Columbia preschool owner is doing the same. Michelle... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 12:38:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman died Wednesday after being in a motorcycle crash the night before. Candace A. Stevenson, 36,... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 11:17:00 AM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
9am 38°
10am 40°
11am 43°
12pm 46°