Voted Best Zoo and the nation's Best Free Attraction, the St. Louis Zoological Park is a leader in animal conservation.
It's one of my favorite places on earth--and it figures prominently in FATAL, FAMILY, ALBUM: Book #13 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Nov. 13 release).
I've written a poem to this fabulous spot, and it appears below the photo of Kali, the polar bear.
One lucky person who comments on this post before Friday will win Kali, a stuffed polar bear, direct from the St. Louis Zoological Park.
|Kali, the polar bear|
Ode to the St. Louis Zoological Park
by Joanna Campbell Slan
In St. Lou, it is taboo
To call this space,
A commonplace "zoo."
We think it vulgar, we find it crass,
Others might call it a pain in the asp,
But the word "zoo" is strictly low class,
So if you wish, to do as we do,
You'll never, ever call it a "zoo,"
When founded back in 1910,
Animals lived their lives in a pen,
But today they frolic, their lives are a lark,
In fake natural environs,
Green and lush like a park,
In 1960, Marlin Perkins' TV shows,
Taught his viewers what St. Louis knows,
That our animals must be preserved
So that all humanity is well served
By contact with the Animal Kingdom,
To this end, conservators bring them,
The rare and endangered, the few, and the weak,
With hooves and scales and even a beak,
Our keepers encourage the shy to breed,
Supplying privacy, hormones, whatever they need.
Even enrichment with balls and toys and more
When Fred the gorilla was feeling sore,
The keepers took him to a hospital
Where he could get care
Indeed, he got an MRI there,
Arthritis caused a pain in his neck,
They prescribed painkillers,
And what the heck?
He was better, happier too,
See? This is really more than a zoo,
It's a place where we care for our animal kin
For it seems the more we learn about them
The better we know our place on this earth,
And we protect our species by attending the birth
Of other creatures great and small
The Zoological Park tends to them all.
Do you have a favorite zoo? Or a favorite animal in the zoo? You have until Friday to tell me about it. I'll choose one lucky comment at random and send that person Kali, the stuffed polar bear.