9 Reasons to Celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of Saint Louis Zoo's Penguin & Puffin Coast

Categories: Animals

All photos by Jon Gitchoff
"We're bAAAAAaaaaack."
The wait is almost over, St. Louis.

It's been a year and a half since the Saint Louis Zoo closed the popular Penguin & Puffin Coast exhibit temporarily to make way for a brand new polar bear exhibit. This week, the zoo re-opens the penguin and puffin exhibit, allowing visitors to reconnect to St. Louis' gentoo, rockhopper and king penguins and horned and tufted puffins.

See also: 5 Best Moments of Oshie the Baby Penguin's Life at the Saint Louis Zoo -- So Far

The penguin and puffin habitat officially opens at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 5. In honor of the re-opening of one of the coolest parts of St. Louis city, here are nine reasons why we can't wait until Thursday:

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"Move This Cat To the Suburbs" Fundraiser Aims to Save Foster Pet from St. Louis Crime

Categories: Animals

Courtesy of Melissa Debus
Alonso, or "Hans," a foster cat whose owner is fundraising for a safer home across the county line.
After nine years of living in south St. Louis city, Melissa Debus wants out.

Debus, 31, is over the armed robberies, burglaries and car break-ins she's seen in her neighborhood, Tower Grove South, since she moved there two years ago.

"Our apartment building keeps getting broken into," says Debus, who lives in the 3900 block of McDonald Avenue. Her downstairs neighbor was robbed again Sunday, and burglars took his laptop and television. "He's on first-name terms with the crime lab now."

Debus also wants to save her eleven-month-old foster cat Alonso -- "Hans" for short -- from "slumming it" in the city.

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Cincinnati Zoo Names Lion Cub In Honor of St. Louis Zookeeper

Categories: Animals

Wendy Rice
Huruma, named after the Swahili word for "compassion" in honor of St. Louis zookeeper Becky Wanner.
The compassionate spirit of a St. Louis zookeeper who died of breast cancer lives on in the cub of the lion she helped raise.

Lion keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo named three-month-old cub Huruma, or "Uma" for short, after the Swahili word for "compassion" in honor of Becky Wanner, who worked as a lion keeper in St. Louis before her death two years ago.

Wanner helped hand-raise Uma's mother Imani, the first lion born at the Saint Louis Zoo in 37 years. When Imani's mother wasn't able to produce enough milk to sustain her, Wanner and a team of zookeepers fed her by hand.

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14 Adorable Dogs (And One Horse) Who Are Totally Ready for Mardi Gras

Categories: Animals

All photos by Micah Usher
Being this cute is a lot of work. Take a breather, Kelly!
Mardi Gras will always be a time for beads, king cake and masquerades, but here in St. Louis, home to one of America's largest Mardi Gras celebrations, the best costumes are going to the dogs.

Pups (and even a horse!) turned out in style last weekend for the 2015 Beggin' Pet Parade, featuring a performance by Blues Traveler. Riverfront Times photographer Micah Usher was on had at the parade to capture the best moments of canine revelry.

See all photos: 2015 Beggin' Pet Parade and Blues Traveler

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[VIDEO] Colobus Monkeys Go Bananas Over Baby Monkey Simon at Saint Louis Zoo

Categories: Animals

Ethan Riepl/Saint Louis Zoo
Welcome to the world, Simon.
It's a boy!

The newest member of the Colobus monkey tribe at the Saint Louis Zoo is baby Simon, born at the Primate House on December 30.

Simon lives at the zoo with his mother, Cecelia, who is 16 years old; his father, Kima, 9 years old; his sister, Kivuli, 2 years old, his grandmother, Roberta, 27 years old, and his aunts, Pili, 2 years old, and Binti, 1 year old.

"A new infant is always the focus of so much excitement and attention for the family," says Joe Knobbe, zoological manager of primates at the Saint Louis Zoo in a statement.

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[PHOTOS] Saint Louis Zoo Throws Shower, Reveals Name for New Baby Orangutan

Categories: Animals

All photos by Micah Usher
Baby Ginger pokes her face out as her mother Merah snacks at the Saint Louis Zoo.
St. Louis, meet Ginger.

Born in mid-December at the Saint Louis Zoo, Ginger, a female Sumatran orangutan, made her public debut Monday at a baby shower, complete with brightly-colored decorations and sweet treats for the entire orangutan colony.

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One Rescue Group's Adorably Low-Tech Campaign to Save Dogs From Freezing to Death

Categories: Animals

azoome via flickr
The Jefferson County Humane Society needs a vehicle to rescue dogs abandoned in the cold.
The only reason Jean Woolery didn't fax her press release to St. Louis media outlets is because she doesn't have a landline.

Woolery is in desperate need of a vehicle, any vehicle, that can fit two or more animal crates so she can rescue abandoned animals in something other than her torn-up 2007 Pontiac G6. So she printed up a photo of herself protesting animal cruelty, wrote her Facebook message address on a business card and mailed it to the Riverfront Times.

Why not send an email? Daily RFT asked Woolery. Why not launch an online fundraising campaign? Or a Twitter hashtag? Why snail mail?

"We don't know how to do the computer," Woolery replies. "We're just trying to help the animals."

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Town & Country Neighbors to Hold Candlelight Vigil for Dead Deer

Categories: Animals

sonstoem via flickr
"Oh, deer!"
Town & Country has been waging a war against the herds of wild deer that roam here for years.

Tonight, neighbors and animal lovers alike are banding together to commemorate the fallen: the 100 deer that sharpshooters will cull this year to keep the population under control.

"I think it's a sad day in Town & Country," says Barbara Ann Hughes, a former Town & Country alderman. "And it's the deer that are paying the price for this."

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Cranberry, Marigold, Ginger or Lucy: Help Name Saint Louis Zoo's New Baby Orangutan

Categories: Animals

Stephanie Braccini, Saint Louis Zoo
Mommy Merah and her new (still unnamed) baby orangutan.
The Saint Louis Zoo's new baby Sumatran orangutan may be three weeks (and three days) old, but she still doesn't have a name.

That's where you come in.

The zoo is asking fans to help name the orangutan that was born December 14 at the zoo's Jungle of the Apes habitat to her 45-year-old mother, Merah (MEER-ah), and 10-year-old father, Cinta (Chin-TA).

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Missouri DJ Leaves Dog Home Alone with a GoPro, Heartbreaking Video Goes Viral

Categories: Animals

Mary Shattock via Flickr
Poor Guinness.
If you're at work, in a crowded public place or anywhere else where you don't want to spontaneously burst into tears, you definitely should not watch this video of Mike Holmes' six-year-old Goldendoodle, Guinness.

That said, the video has gone so viral in the last two weeks that if anyone side-eyes you for crying a little, you could probably just tell them, "I'm watching that dog video!" and they'd shed a tear with you.

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