[For those not old enough to understand the relevance of the title: When I grew up, there was this program called Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and its longtime host was Marlin Perkins, who was the director of the St. Louis Zoo]
Today, we went to visit the St. Louis Zoo. This is a 55 acre zoological park. Some exhibits are oldish (if you consider the 1970s oldI remember some from my 1987 visit); some are new housed in old (such as the herpetarium); and some are new. My impression: On the whole, I like Los Angeles Zoo better, but there are some exhibits in which St. Louis excels.
So what impressed me? First, I always love the 1904 Flight Cage. Although there weren’t as many birds as I remember, this is still a neat thing. Second, the St Louis Zoo has a new Penguin and Puffin Area, a 41° enclosure where you can get up close and personal with the penguins (really… like inches apart!). We were also impressed with the Insectarium, which provided loads of information about insects, quite a few specimens, and a great butterfly house. Of course, we saw lions, and tigers, and bears (I can hear you say “Oh My!”).
What didn’t impress me? First, there was the woman with a shrill whistle, who kept whistling at the big cats to get their attention. For once, I wished there wasn’t a fence. I couldn’t see that much of an improvement in the bear spaces, and I found the primate house to be somewhat poor. I like the newer primate stuff the LA Zoo is doing.
After the Zoo, we stopped by the Missouri History Museum to hit the bookstore, as gf_guruilla wanted to pick up a cookbook or two.
We then visited a St. Louis institution: Ted Drews, the home of Frozen Custard. We had some concretes (seemed like soft-serve to me), and then drove down MO 366, which appears to be part of former US 66, based on the motels.
After that, it was dinner then back to the hotel.
Tomorrow’s plans: gf_guruilla, S&F, and Linda are going to visit the Eugene Field Toy Museum and the St. Louis Art Museum, while I go to visit the Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood MO. This should be fun, as they have 27 diesel or other internal combustion locomotives, 10 electrics, one gas-turbine, 45 freight cars, 31 passenger train cars, plus street, interurban and rapid transit cars. I plan to wear my OERM shirt and bring my OERM membership card!
Update @ 9:04 PM: It appears the Museum of Transportation has an active Volunteer Group similar to the volunteers at OERM. Further, it appears they are there on Fridays running their trolleys. Wahoo! Us trolley fans are the same under the skin. I’ve already written their webmaster about including OERM in their list of links of museums with active trolley lines.