Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Photographs from the Son - St Louis Zoo I

The first three pictures were taken in June 2008 at the St. Louis Zoo in St. Louis, Missouri. The last 2 pictures were taken in December 2010. They are posted for Jim Alexander, who told us recently the current Sea Lion Arena is in its last year of usage in 2011. Prior to aquatic shows, it displayed the elephant show under the direction of Floyd Smith.

Photo 1, St Louis Zoo, June 2008
Courtesy of R Easley

Photo 2, St Louis Zoo, June 2008
Courtesy of R Easley

Photo 3, St Louis Zoo, June 2008
Courtesy of R Easley

Photo 4, St Louis Zoo, December 2010
Courtesy of R Easley

Photo 5, St Louis Zoo, December 2010
Courtesy of R Easley

"St. Louis' animal kingdom is about to undergo some major renovations. The St. Louis Zoo plans to build new homes for its bears, sea lions, elephants and red pandas. The digs offer more space, bigger pools, shady trees and grassy lawns. The first project, Sea Lion Sound, is set to open in 2012 and will feature an underwater viewing tunnel, expanded saltwater pools and a new, 850-seat sea lion arena.

The new exhibits are part of "The Living Promise," the zoo's $120 million capital campaign. The money will also go toward new bathrooms, sewer and water lines, a maintenance facility and other infrastructure improvements as well as the zoo's growing endowment.

Sea Lion Sound will provide a 1.5-acre complex for the zoo's California sea lions. Currently the zoo must drain the 90-year-old sea lion pool every other week for cleaning. That won't be necessary at the new Sea Lion Landing; divers will clean the new pool. Steve Bircher, zoo curator of mammals and carnivores, said Sea Lion Sound's improved facilities will allow the zoo to add harbor and gray seals to its collection."

>> "St. Louis Zoo plans new bear, sea lion exhibits,", 06/04/2010


  1. Radar,
    I believe they changed the name of the facility to the Alexander Arena in 2010. Alexander Plaza is near the sea lion basin in the center of the park.
    Wade Burck

  2. I wish I had seen that sign to document with a picture, as well! I am looking forward to the release of Mr. Alexander's book. It would be an absolute shame and loss for the zoo/animal community if one is not constructed.

  3. Interesting article about the St Louis Zoo capital campaign. I was at SLZ in 2009 and I'm planning on visiting again this year. The River Forest exhibit is outstanding. I did not know they had 3 elephant yards?

  4. If that Alexander guy donated enough money they'd name the entire Zoo after him.

    Few items about the sea lion show: Began (and almost closed)in 1970. It was a rough start without much time to prepare and a naive trainer. By the third season even the newspaper said the show was pretty good. The Sea Lion Arena held over 1,200 people, largest in the Zoo. Chimpanzee Arena had less seats but often drew standing room crowds on weekends. Kyle Ulmer took the show over when I left and has done a great job. When they move down to new facility he'll have quite a challenge. Architects and administrators assume their designs are faultless so it must be the trainer's lack of talent.

    I agree with Natasha, St. Louis has a great Zoo. The grounds are lovely, even the south parking lot is attractive. Well worth a visit.

  5. Natasha,
    The River's Edge exhibit does not yet have the third yard in operation. It is still under construction and will be viewable only while riding the zoo tram.

    Thank you for sharing, Jim. What was the Sea Lion arena used for after the elephants moved before the sea lions began? Where was the cat act displayed?


I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.