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Jan 19

Como Park Zoo: Go for the Conservatory stay for the Zoo

Polar BearComo Park Zoo is a small area zoo that is one part of St. Paul’s Como Park entertainment complex which includes the Como Town Amusement Park, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, and the Como Park Zoo.  The beautiful Como Park Conservatory is well worth the drive there and their zoo is a nice bonus.  Even though the zoo is small the quality of the exhibits and the types of animals that they have at the Como Park Zoo was impressive.emperor tamarinThe Como Zoo was established in 1897 and they have done a very good job updating their exhibits and making changes over the years.  In the 1980s their big cats were moved out of their small cramped cages to much larger housing.  They have also incorporated the conservatory when they opened up their Tropical Encounter exhibit in 2005.  Their newest exhibit will open up in 2013 when their Gorilla Forest enclosure will be unveiled.Aquatic CenterKaren and I were there in the fall of 2012 on a relatively cold day and it was slightly raining so it was not the ideal weather to be walking around the zoo, but because of the Como Park Zoo’s small area and indoor exhibits it ended up being a good time.  Our favorite areas of the Como Park Zoo were their primate building, Polar Bear Odyssey, and their aquatic animal building which included penguins.  Their big cat area was also neat because it is an elevated walkway that lets you look down on their lions and tigers.M and GiraffeThe Como Park Zoo also has Seal Island, an African Hoofed Stock area that is home to giraffe, ostrich, zebra and kudu.  There is also a North American habitat area that houses bison, Dall sheep, reindeer, and Arctic fox.  The Como Zoo’s cat collection represented most of the big cats that are out there including snow leopards and mountain lions.  It is a nice collection of animals, and since it is free except for the suggested donation price there really cannot be any complaints.Snow LeopardIn all, the Como Park Zoo has 25 animal habitats, which makes it the perfect size when you add it to their conservatory, outdoor gardens, and the other things that Como Park has to offer. While it is not as grand as the Minnesota Zoo the Como Park Zoo has a good thing going on there, and with its new Gorilla Forest exhibit it will be even better.TigerComo Park Conservatory
Located at 1225 Estabrook Dr. Saint Paul
Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the months of April through September and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October through March
Cost as of this Posting: Admission is free but a suggested donation of $3 for an adult and $2 for a child is recommended.
For more information visit their website at http://www.comozooconservatory.org/

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