The Saint Louis Zoo Association has purchased a 172 hectare (425 acre) plot in north St. Louis County for $7.1 million. The property will be used to fulfil the zoo’s mission to conserve animals.
The St. Louis County will also submit for approval by County voters a 1/8 of one percent sales tax.
The ballot initiative is called “Proposition Z,” and will appear on the St. Louis County ballot on November 6, 2018. The funds will help the zoo maintain the Forest Park site.
Joseph T. Ambrose, President of the Saint Louis Zoo Association, said: “With today’s announcement, we’re one step closer to preserving the world-class Saint Louis Zoo for generations to come while continuing to provide the best possible care for thousands of animals. We’re very excited to expand the Zoo’s footprint into St. Louis County. This new campus will help the Zoo grow its conservation efforts while also expanding our educational programs for children and offering new and exciting public attractions for local audiences and tourists.”
Jeffrey Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Zoo, said: “At the new campus, we plan to have a Conservation & Animal Science Center dedicated to sustaining endangered and threatened species as well as a public component with attractions that connect people with nature and animals. Research is underway to best determine what the public component will entail, but there is likely to be some kind of a safari experience.
Funds collected from Prop Z will drive economic growth and create more jobs through a multimillion-dollar investment in new facilities in St. Louis County, while providing unique wildlife experiences that few cities in the world can boast. The additional funds also will allow us to maintain our century-old campus in Forest Park, which has significant infrastructure needs, including modernization of habitats to meet evolving standards of care.”
The zoo announced its intention to purchase the land earlier this year.