ST. LOUIS (News release) – The Saint Louis Zoo has been chosen as the No. 1 “Best Zoo” in the 10 Best 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 and 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 Friday.

“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 Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo.

The top 10 Best Zoos list ranks as follows:

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

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.”

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