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Saint Louis Zoo Penguin and Puffin Coast: Last Look at Exhibit Until 2015 (PHOTOS)

Categories: Animals, News

penguins-stl-zoo.jpg
Jon Gitchoff for RFT
Penguin and Puffin Coast, one of the most popular attractions at the Saint Louis Zoo, is officially shutting down until 2015 to make way for the construction of a brand new polar bear exhibit.

But fear not! RFT visited the zoo and snapped shots of the adorable penguins and puffins for your viewing pleasure today and over the next two years as you eagerly anticipate the unveiling of the new exhibit. The zoo is breaking ground today on the new project and meanwhile the Penguin and Puffin Coast's gentoo, rockhopper and king penguins and horned and tufted puffins will remain in their current quarters. (The exhibit must temporarily close because its exit opens into the construction zone).

The new exhibit will more than double the space of the old polar bear habitat, according to the zoo, which notes that it will feature a walk-through arctic cave that lets "visitors get up-close and personal with the bears."

See also: Senator Claire McCaskill Angers Vegans on Twitter with Pig Roast Photos

As we say goodbye to the penguins, let's not forget their shining moment -- when one of them bit then presidential candidate Newt Gingrich last year while he was in town for an NRA convention.

Here's an exhibit animation of the project from the zoo, followed by our photos of the penguin from RFT photographer Jon Gitchoff.

Penguins-Saint-Louis-Zoo-1.jpg
Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Penguins-Saint-Louis-Zoo-2.jpg
Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Penguins-Saint-Louis-Zoo-3.jpg
Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Penguins-Saint-Louis-Zoo-4.jpg
Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Continue for more photos of Penguin and Puffin Coast.


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14 comments
David J. McCutcheon
David J. McCutcheon

Huh, that's strange, Rachel... If it's so terrible, I wonder why it consistently wins so many awards and so many of my out-of-town friends compare it to the best zoos in the country? Maybe because you're wrong? Nahhh, you're never wrong, right?

Rachel Roach
Rachel Roach

Barrett, the zoo sucks, the penguins were probably the only thing worth seeing there, the STL Zoo is like the shitty highways out here, something is always under construction, whats the fun of that if thats always what you see there..it has ZERO to do with business my dear, think about your comments before you post them, otherwise...you might seem like you actually belong in this crappy city...wait, nevermind.

Nathan B Cromwell
Nathan B Cromwell

I will not bring my child to the zoo until the peguins are back that is her fav exhibit so you lost a few visitors

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

I remember the old aquarium that used to be in the zoo.  Used to go out of my way to go there almost every weekend when I was still in high school.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Well, keep in mind that the zoo can free up some space in the park in the near future as it just purchased the old hospital. I believe they will be tearing the hospital down and putting up new administrative offices. They can then tear down the old offices in the park and use that space for new exhibits. I remember the plans for the Ballpark aquarium and was really bummed when they were axed.

David J. McCutcheon
David J. McCutcheon

Little trivia for everyone: In the original Ballpark Village proposal (lolz), a "world-class aquarium" was on the brochure. I think the market is there and I think the Zoo itself is on limited space, so I'd be alright with a stand-alone location developed by the Zoo, seeing as they're one of our city's finest institutions.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

I just don't see anyone else pulling an aquarium off. If the St. Louis Zoo put their mind to it they could get the donations to help off-set the cost easy. The community trusts the zoo to handle the animals properly.

David J. McCutcheon
David J. McCutcheon

Agreed tenfold, though I wouldn't mind a stand-alone aquarium personally... One of my two Facebook interests is jellyfish; I'm not taking this lack of an aquarium lying down.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

I really wish the zoo would add an aquarium exhibit. Have the building sectioned off with penguins in one section, otters in another and then a proper aquarium filling out the rest.

Melanie Shira
Melanie Shira

So what are they planning to do with the animals for two years?

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