KE’s Zoo Showdown
November 28, 2016
The Como Zoo and Conservatory has been a family attraction for over 100 years. It is located on Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN. The Como Zoo offers a large variety of animals for free.
The Como Zoo opens at 10 am and closes at 4 pm everyday in the winter. In the summer the zoo stays open until 6 pm. The best time to come to the zoo is right when it opens. In the morning the animals are just waking up so they are very active. For instance, that is when one can hear the lions roaring. Around noon, the animals are taking naps, which makes it an inopportune time to visit.
Food at the Como Zoo allows options for everyone. There are little carts all around the zoo filled with popcorn, soda, cotton candy and ice cream. Of course they have a large “food court area” where they serve everything including burgers, noodles and Thai food. With all these options, guests are bound to find something they’ll like.
The Como Zoo has a variety of animals. They have giraffes, lions, gorillas, polar bears, tigers, wolves and more. Each section of animals have their own building. There is one building for the monkeys like the orangutans and the gorillas, another for the polar bears and another for the big cats. This allows guests to go inside during the cold weather. Each exhibit also has outside space. In the warm weather, animals can go where they please but once it gets cold out, they are only allowed to be in the indoor portion.
The Minnesota Zoo allows a more modern feel than the Como Zoo. The exhibits make guests feel like they’re walking through a forest or swimming in the ocean. The Minnesota Zoo encompasses the greater world in just 485 acres.
With a cost of seven dollars for parking and eighteen dollars for adults to enter, the Minnesota Zoo is not cheap. However, it is a lot larger than the Como Zoo and offers both exotic animals from far away and local farm animals where we get our food
The Minnesota Zoo has three different trails, a farm, and an ocean experience. The tropics trail is full of tropical birds and reptiles like the Komodo Dragon. It also has an adorable red panda and lots of monkeys and gibbons. Combined with the wonderful aesthetic and plant life, guests are immediately transported to the middle of the rainforest. The Northern trail has the fierce amur tiger. It is filled with animals like the takin, bison, and caribou. The Northern trail is also home to pronghorns, the Asian wild horse and Asian wild dogs. The Minnesota trail has animals such as wolves, bears, owls and bald eagles. These are animals that are more known to the guests because they’re native to Minnesota, but still provide excitement when you see them up close.
Then there’s Discovery Bay. Discovery Bay has lots of sea life and little coves. They have a pool full of harmless sharks and stingrays that guests can touch, which makes people feel like they are in the ocean. There are little alcoves where kids can look at incredible sea horses and beautiful fish. This combined with the amazing architecture give an ocean feel to Minnesota. Add to that the beautiful blue tank with some Hawaiian monk seals and it’s sure to be a great time.
Another great aspect of the Minnesota Zoo is Wells Fargo Family Farm. The farm teaches kids and families about how food gets to their table. It sparks an interest in the importance of fresh food. The farm has cows, sheep, rabbits, pigs, horses, goats and chickens. These animals-while they may not be as interesting as the tigers-can educate large audiences and be an enjoyable experience.
One down side of the Minnesota Zoo is the lack of tropical mammals such as lions, zebras and giraffes. While the Como Zoo has permanent housing for such animals, the Minnesota Zoo does not. This presents a downside if you visit in the winter, because the Minnesota Zoo does in fact have special, summer exhibits.