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Saint Louis Zoo releases renderings for WildCare Park expansion

The $230 million, 425-acre expansion in north St. Louis County is expected to open in 2027.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Saint Louis Zoo has released renderings of the new WildCare Park expansion in north St. Louis County.

The $230 million expansion will be 425 acres (four times bigger than the main zoo) of rolling hills on two pastures.

"There will be herds of zebras, herds of giraffes, herds of gazelles," Dr. Jo-Elle Mogerman, Zoo WildCare Park director said. "We will put you on a safari and ride you through the pastures. What we will do at WildCare Park is what the animals are doing will drive the conversations on that tour."

There's going to be a wide selection of animals and even a few endangered species that will call the new park in Spanish Lake home. There will be riding safaris, walking safaris, nature trails, an observation tower and more.

"[North County] is beautiful," Dr. Mogerman said. "The rivers come together at Columbia Bottom. What we will do is take people up so they can see the vista and landscape. In doing so we can share with them the importance of nature in the region."

North County neighbor Kelly Hanson is excited about a major attraction coming to her neck of the woods.

"I'm super excited, I feel like it will bring a lot of people in," Hanson said. "People who live close by won't have to drive all the way to the city to see something cool."

Kelly's son Kameron can't wait for a pilot pasture that is expected to be up and running in 2023. The entire park is expected to open in 2027.

"You don't have to go to Africa, it's all right there," said Kameron. "I love seeing the animals, especially the lizards and the birds. I really like the natural stuff. It will be nice to see the herds [of animals]."

The park will be free for St. Louis County residents. Prices for other visitors haven't been determined yet but zoo leaders expect it to be around $25-$30 per ticket.

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