When the Saint Louis Zoo first opened in 1910 – you’d find less than 200 animals.  Today, almost 20,000 call this home.

The Saint Louis Zoo regularly leads the nation in attendance — in 2012, more than 3.5 million guests visited the park.

The main perk, according to out of town tourists, is the fact that the Saint Louis Zoo, is one of just three zoos in the United States that still remain free.

Among the unique features and exhibits at the Saint Louis Zoo is a 160,000 pound “birdcage” — which originally housed 1,000 birds for the 1904 World’s Fair. The structure was purchased by the zoo after the fair for a bargain price of $3,500!  Today, it’s still one of the most popular and recognizable features of the 90 acre property.

Fun fact: one third of the Saint Louis Zoo costs are paid by Saint Louis taxpayers, while the rest comes from visitor spending and donations.  

It’s money well spent — as the annual impact to the region from zoo visitors alone is in the neighborhood of $200 million dollars.