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Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

The Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (or just Como Zoo and Conservatory) are located in Como Park at 1225 Estabrook Drive, Saint Paul, Minnesota. The park, zoo and conservatory are owned by the City of Saint Paul and are a division of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation. Its attractions include the zoo, the conservatory, an amusement park, a carousel, Lake Como, a golf course, a pool and more. The park receives more than 1.9 million visitors annually. Como Park is a free park and while no admission fee is charged for the zoo or conservatory, voluntary donations of $4 per adult and $2 child are suggested.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is free and open to newcomers and frequent visitors alike all year long. Our mission is to inspire our public to value the presence of living things in our lives. With a strong focus on conservation and serving over 2 million visitors annually, our expert staff is dedicated to the wellbeing of the many plants and animals that live here.

May 14, 2022
Como Town is located next to Como Zoo. The family-friendly amusement park is home to more than 20 ride and attractions, concessions, and a General Store.

From a carousel to Como Town rides and so much more, there are fun attractions for the whole family in and around the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory grounds. Click below to learn more before your next visit.

The first zoo in Saint Paul was on Harriet Island when in 1897, the city of St. Paul received a gift of three deer. Additional animals followed, when more room was needed to house the animals they were moved to facilities at Como Park. Como Zoo continued to grow through donations of animals and money.

The Art Deco Zoological Building was designed in 1936 by Charles Bassford[13] as part of the federally funded Works Progress Administration. Other WPA structures were completed in the 1930s, including Monkey Island, barn and bear grotto.

In the 1980s several new exhibits were added as part of a major renovation project, including the Large Cat exhibit (1980), Aquatic Animal Building and conversion of Monkey Island to Seal Island (1982), the Primate Facility (1985), the Land and Water Bird exhibit (1986) and the African Hoofed Stock Facility (1987).

In 1873 the City of Saint Paul acquired 300 acres (120 ha) of land around Como Lake that would become a public park. Today the 384-acre (155 ha) park includes:

Como Park
– 2.3 miles (3.7 km) of paved trails
– Athletic fields
– Como Golf Course – 18 hole, 70 par
– Como Lake
– 1.67 mile paved path around the lake
– Fishing Pier
– Lakeside Pavilion – home to Como Dockside Restaurant and Bar a New Orleans themed restaurant which hosts local live music in an outdoor band shell nightly in the summer.
– Paddleboat, canoe, paddle boards, and family bike rentals
– Como Pool
– Como Town amusement park
– Picnic shelters
– Putt’er There Mini Golf
– Medallion

Art at Como Zoo
Don the Gorilla- Bronze and stone statue of a popular gorilla named Don donated by artist Betty Sievert in 1982. Located outside the primate house.
Giraffes- Fiberglass giraffes created by Third Street Studiosand donated in memory of Sandra Kay Bjick in 1994. Located near the giraffe exhibit.
Polar Bears- Fiberglass polar bears created by Third Street Studios. Located near the polar bear exhibit.
Sparky- Fiberglass sculpture of ‘Sparky’ the sea lion who performs entertaining shows at Como Zoo. Created by Third Street Studios in 1997 in celebration of the zoo’s centennial. Located near the Sparky Amphitheater.
Toby the Tortoise- Bronze sculpture of the popular tortoise named Toby. Create by the artist Tischler. Located in front of the Zoological building in the Como Park Zoo Donor Plaza.
Penguins- Fiberglass sculpture of penguins.
Earth Day Mural- Created by Teresa Cox on April 22, 2000, with help from zoo visitors.
Family- A set of three abstract, wire-frame sculptures created by Russell Erickson in 1978. The sculpture stood in front of the FDA building in Minneapolis until 2004 when the building was demolished and the sculpture eventually moved to the Como Zoo as a temporary measure. As of 2009 it is located in a grassy picnic area across from Como Harbour.
A new Polar bear exhibit was finished in 2010. The two twin Polar bear brothers (Buzz and Neil) returned from their temporary stay in Canada. The exhibit includes a shallow and deep pool plus a middle room. It also has a back room where the Polar bears can choose to stay in the AC. A new seal and sea lion exhibit with two pools was completed in 2021.

Casey the Gorilla
On May 13, 1994, Casey a 400-pound gorilla, scaled the wall of his enclosure and wandered free around the zoo for 45 minutes. Visitors were ushered to safety as zoo staff shot Casey with a tranquilizer and returned him to his enclosure. This resulted in the zoo building a temporary slanted wall around the enclosure to keep this from happening again and the zoo is planning on building a new area for the gorillas making it safer and impossible to escape from. The zoo opened a new exhibit in 2013 called Gorilla Forest. Casey was moved to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

Art at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory
Crest of the Wave- Bronze sculpture created in 1925 by artist Harriet Frishmuth. Located in the Palm Dome.
Play Days- Bronze sculpture by artist Harriet Frishmuth. Located in the Sunken Garden.
St. Francis of Assisi- Sculpture of the revered saint, Francis of Assisi.

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