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St. Louis Zoo wins ‘Best in the US’ 2017 title

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The St. Louis Zoo has won the 2017 USA Today Readers’ Choice for Best U.S. Zoo. The same Zoo was named by USA Today in 2016 as the “Best Free Attraction” in the United States.

“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,” writes the St. Louis Zoo in a statement. “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.”

The St. Louis Zoo is described by USA Today like this, 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.”

USA Today posted this update on their 10 best site:

“We asked a panel of family travel and zoological park experts to nominate their 20 favorite facilities across the United States (all accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums), and for the last four weeks, readers have been voting for their favorites.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Zoo are as follows:

  • Saint Louis Zoo – St. Louis
  • Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – Omaha
  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Tucson
  • Fort Worth Zoo – Fort Worth
  • Riverbanks Zoo & Garden – Columbia, S.C.
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Colorado Springs
  • San Diego Zoo – San Diego
  • Brookfield Zoo – Chicago
  • Audubon Zoo – New Orleans
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – Cleveland

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Katie Dillon (La Jolla Mom), Debra Erickson (International Zoo Educators Association), Kyle McCarthy (Family Travel Forum), Eileen Ogintz (Taking the Kids) and Alan Sironen (Zoo Consultants International) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of American zoos.

Other nominees included the Bronx Zoo, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Denver Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Houston Zoo, Memphis Zoo, Phoenix Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo.”