Saint Louis Zoo Provides New WildCare Park Updates

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – On Tuesday, the St. Louis Zoo provided several updates on some of the animals and activities planned for guests at their WildCare Park.

The development of the park is estimated at $230 million with funding from various sources. Sources include philanthropy, external fundraising proceeds in addition to existing and future cash reserves of the Zoo and the St. Louis Zoo Association.

The zoo said the target year for opening to the public is 2027, but animals will start arriving at WildCare Park in 2023.

“We are thrilled to share these updates from WildCare Park,” said Dwight Scott, Dana Brown, President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo. “Our team has been extremely busy and we look forward to sharing more WildCare Park updates as we move forward.”

The zoo also said the animals selected for the park will be species that will thrive in Missouri’s variable seasonal climate.

“We selected species most likely to thrive in a multi-species environment and co-exist in harmony with the native wildlife that lives at WildCare Park,” said Martha Fischer, General Curator of WildCare Park.

Animals are found everywhere on the 425 acre property. The Kent Family Conservation and Animal Science Center comprises 61 acres and will be a dedicated facility to house endangered and threatened species. The animals selected for the safari areas are a mix of threatened and non-threatened species. However, the St. Louis Zoo said endangered species had the highest priority. Many animals in the park will be different from what you can find at the regular zoo. This is to provide guests with the opportunity to see a diversity of species on both campuses.

The zoo has released an initial list of animals that could call WildCare Park their new home. Some of the animals include:

  • Giraffe
  • Grevy’s zebra
  • greater kudu
  • Addax
  • bongo
  • roan antelope
  • Somali wild ass
  • Przewalski’s horse

Animals won’t be the park’s only new update. The zoo has provided a new list of guest experiences that will likely be available at WildCare Park. Some of these experiences include:

  • Two 30-minute game drives from school bus-sized vehicles that can accommodate 30-40 passengers.
    • Safari in the woods – Guests can view animals in this 63-acre natural woodland habitat interspersed with grassy areas. The star of the Woodland Safari is the white rhino.
    • Savanna Safari – This 101-acre pasture is more like a traditional savannah with large grassy expanses dotted with trees and includes several lakes and ponds. From a safari vehicle, you can observe around 100 animals.
  • Walking safari experience – This multi-acre habitat will allow guests to have an immersive experience walking through the habitat on a path with animals all around them.
  • A “zooseum” – This interactive indoor zoo-museum-science center of 5,000 to 8,000 square feet that will use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
  • Glamour – Spend the night glamping – or glamorous camping – in one of 10 private luxury cabins. Guests can simply relax or embark on a game drive, take a nature hike, enjoy a meal and/or chat with animal care or research experts.
  • giraffe feeding – This unique wildlife experience will have guests at head height of the giraffes. For an additional fee, customers can purchase grazing or lettuce to offer to giraffes that get close to their 18-inch tongues.
  • Restaurant – Savor a delicious meal or sip a drink at the WildCare Park Restaurant. Indoor and outdoor seating will be available.

“At WildCare Park, guests will be immersed in nature and animal pastures, providing unique experiences with each visit,” Dr. Mogerman said. “Each visit will be a new adventure.”

Currently, the St. Louis Zoo says St. Louis County residents will be able to experience the new park without entry, as county voters passed Proposition Z in 2018 to support development and operations. from WildCare Park. Admission prices for out-of-county guests as well as costs for paid experiences will be shared at a later date.

“The community has been incredibly supportive throughout the planning stages and we are excited to continue working with them,” Dr. Mogerman said. “As our plans develop, we look forward to sharing more.”

The park will also provide biodiversity studies and other educational opportunities.

For the full list of animals and guest experiences or for more information on the new WildCare Park, visit the website here.

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