The Zoo is now open!

All guests, including Zoo members, must now reserve free, timed tickets prior to visiting.

Review the Zoo’s reopening guidelines and make a reservation

We are excited to welcome you back to the Saint Louis Zoo!  When you are ready to visit, we're more than ready for you! Until then we are happy to continue to #BringTheStlZooToYou for you stay connected to your Zoo.

Follow us at FacebookTwitter and Instagram and check out our new rotating animal webcams at Live Webcams!

Don't forget our STLZOOm live webinars and virtual Conservation Learning opportunities thanks to our Saint Louis Zoo Educators!

Our staff remain dedicated to the animals in our care. Your support is vital to our future. Please consider making a contribution to our Critical Animal Care Fund

Are you a #StlZooperHero? This summer, we are excited to bring back our annual Instagram Contest with a special 2020 edition. Learn how you can enter for a chance to win a $125 Zoo gift card at #StlZooperHero Instagram Contest

April 01, 2019

By Chawna Schuette, Herpetarium Keeper

Read Part I here

Read Part II here

We traveled to a very special type of habitat, the Ecuadorian dry forest near the Pacific Coast. This habitat has many unique endemic plant and animal species, including specially adapted trees and cacti. We were in search of the Pacific horned frog (Ceratophrys stolzmanni).

As we drove down a dirt road to a location these frogs were last known to be, the vehicle approached many clusters of butterflies on the road. As we got close, they would fly up all around us like gold and white confetti. We were all in awe of the beautiful sight. We saw three wild tegu (a type of lizard) along the road as well.

When we arrived, we took a two-mile hike in search of tadpoles of C. stolzmanni. We took in the sights of the beautiful weaver birds, the plant life and unique invertebrate species. We saw tarantulas and foam nests of other frog species, but no sign of the horned frog until we reached the end of the trail, where we found a mud pond left by some construction workers. There we saw tons of tadpoles, and they were the species we were looking for! We were very excited and collected the tadpoles.

We waited until later in the evening to search for the adults. I was lucky enough to find the first one of the night. I was so excited to see him. I brought him up to my colleagues and showed them through the window and gave him a little frog kiss, "Perfecto!"

As the night went on, lots of horned frogs emerged, and we caught many more. This was extremely special and timed perfectly. These frogs are hard to locate, even in areas where their populations are still doing well. They only come to the surface seasonally, and normally only for a short period of time to breed and lay eggs. This was a very successful visit to this location indeed, and it was such a treat to see this species in the wild!