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Saint Louis Zoo Chosen as Nation's "Best Zoo"

The Saint Louis Zoo was chosen as the top winner in the "Best Zoo" category of the 10Best Readers' Choice Awards contest sponsored by USA Today. The Saint Louis Zoo was among 20 nominated U.S. zoos, all accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and hand-picked by a panel of zoo and family travel experts.

Visitors to were asked to vote for their favorite U.S. zoo from Feb. 27 to March 27. The results of the top 10 were announced today.

"After being voted America's Top Free Attraction in 2016, we're humbled to be chosen now as the Best Zoo by our dedicated fans in the St. Louis region, across Missouri and friends around the country," said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. "Our visitors, volunteers, members, generous donors, employees, and especially the taxpayers of St. Louis City and St. Louis County are the real champions. It's through their strong support that we can provide superior care for the animals, save wildlife in wild places, connect people with nature, and offer a great place to spend time with friends and family members."

The top 10 Best Zoos list includes:

1. Saint Louis Zoo - St. Louis
2. Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – Omaha
3. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Tucson
4. Fort Worth Zoo - Fort Worth
5. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden - Columbia, S.C.
6. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - Colorado Springs
7. San Diego Zoo - San Diego
8. Brookfield Zoo – Chicago
9. Audubon Zoo - New Orleans
10. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – Cleveland

On its website, USA Today offered this description of the Saint Louis Zoo: "Situated within the nation's largest urban park, the free-to-the-public St. Louis Zoo features a stunning diversity of animals — more than 600 species in total. The zoo is divided into six zones, including Lakeside Crossing where the award-winning Sea Lion Sound combines a stellar exhibit experience with educational presentations and shows. At River's Edge, visitors journey along the Amazon backwaters in South America, through the African savanna, across North American wetlands and deep into an Asian forest to see everything from hippos, African dogs and hyenas to giant anteaters and Andean bears."

About the Saint Louis Zoo
Chosen as America's Top Free Attraction and Best Zoo in USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Zoo attracts more than 3,000,000 visitors a year. For more information, visit,,,,

The experts behind the Best Zoos in the U.S.: Katie Dillon writes a lifestyle site called La Jolla Mom and is the author of a book called "Flying With Kids," and writes for a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts blog. Debra Erickson serves on the Board of Directors for International Zoo Educators Association and has been in the conservation, interpretation, marketing and communications fields for over 25 years. Kyle McCarthy is co-founder and editor of Family Travel Forum, the online travel community trusted by family vacation planners since 1996. Eileen Ogintz is a leading national family travel expert, author of the syndicated column and website "Taking the Kids" and the 10-book Kid's Guide series to major American cities. Alan Sironen is the owner of Zoo Consultants International LLC. Zoo Consultants International LLC assists clients in animal exhibit planning and more.