So Minnesota: Como Zoo |

So Minnesota: Como Zoo

Joe Mazan
Updated: May 24, 2021 10:38 PM
Created: May 24, 2021 05:09 PM

It's been a legendary landmark creating memories for Minnesotans for more than a century.

Como Zoo in St. Paul has brought animals and families together free of charge.

Como Zoo's history dates back to 1897. After St. Paul received a donation of three deer, the city provided a fenced-in pasture, and Como Zoo was born. 

During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration built several structures at the zoo.

"The WPA built our old zoo building that's right beside us here in the 1930s and that became kind of the keystone animal building,"  Terri Scheunemann with Como Zoo said.

A few decades later city officials recommended closing the zoo, but citizen volunteers and a wealthy businessman succeeded in keeping it open. 

"I think people rallied around and thought 'No, it would be better if Como did stay,'" Scheunemann said.   

The way Como Zoo takes care of animals has changed over the years and now several outdoor exhibits... 

"I think none of us liked seeing the animals in the cages but that was a standard for zoos in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s," Scheunemann said. "That's brought us to Como Harbor today, along with the gorilla exhibit and polar bear exhibit that we've opened in the last years."

Many continue bringing their children to Como Zoo, creating new memories for the next generation.

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