Zoo officials are expected to discuss the possibility of putting an animal exhibit in the zoo to help ease the transition from zoo-to-wildlife park.
Zoos are required to submit to a 10-day environmental review and are required by law to remove invasive plants and animals that have harmed the health and welfare of their animals.
The zoo will have to make the decision on how to proceed based on what experts see as the best approach to the situation.
Zoo officials will also be briefed on the potential benefits and drawbacks of putting in the exhibit, and whether the exhibit will provide the kind of educational and social opportunities that will be more common in an open-air environment.
“This is a very challenging process,” zoo spokeswoman Beth D. Breslow said.
“We’re going to have to do a lot of careful thinking, and I think the experts are going to provide some good advice on what kind of zoo we want to be.”
Zoo officials expect to submit the exhibit application to the city of St. Louis by the end of the week.
Bausfield said the zoo is considering what species to put in the park and whether it should be a zoos or wildlife sanctuary.
“The zoo’s been very good to me and our guests in terms of keeping animals in zoos, and so we’re looking at the potential impact that putting a zebra in the zoos will have on them,” she said.
If the park decides to keep the animal exhibit, the zoo would have to work with St. Charles County to decide how much money to pay for the relocation and rehabilitation of the animals.
Zebra crossings would not be allowed because of concerns that the animals could become entangled in fencing.
“It would not work,” Bresold said.
Zoo workers have been able to keep zebra crossings in zoo-like settings.
The St. Lawrence Zoo has been a zoo since 1859 and is home to a number of endangered species including the zebra, zebra mussels, the western black rhino, the striped skunk, and the gray squirrel.