The Amazing World of Moths – Now Open!

April 30th, 2016

Photo Exhibit Featuring Ultra Close-up Macro Photography to be Displayed at Como


 053161 - Rosy Maple Moth - Dryocampa rubicunda - 2x3 - titled 010394 - Hypoprepia miniata - Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth - 2x3 - titled


Como Park Zoo and Conservatory proudly presents a stunning photo exhibit by Minneapolis artist Bill Johnson on display in Como’s Exhibit Gallery April 30th through June 30. Over 40 extreme close-up images will highlight the amazing colors, shapes, and diversity of the insect world.

Mr. Johnson specializes in plant and insect photography, from full-specimen to ultra-close-up macro photography.

Mr. Johnson’s images have appeared in over 900 national and regional publications, including nature magazines, gardening books, field guides, and most recently a children’s book to entitled Minnesota Bug Hunt which explore insects, friendly and fierce, that live as close as our own backyard. His photography travels have taken him to a variety of geographic regions nationally and internationally.

The public is invited to a “meet & greet” with artist Bill Johnson on Sunday, May 1 from 1pm – 4pm. The exhibit will be on display April 30th through June 30, 10am – 6pm. Admission is free.

**Media Availability: More images, as well as high resolution images, & additional information about the artwork & artist are available for all television, radio and print requests. Please call 651-487-8294 or e-mail: [email protected] to schedule.

085060 - Haematopis grataria - Chickweed Geometer - 2x3 - titled


Climate Change Impacts Churchill Polar Bear Population

November 12th, 2015

Sven Sundgaard and Kare 11 stopped by Como to learn how we help Polar Bears in the wild! Sven also made some special enrichment for Buzz and Neil! He is now in Churchill, Manitoba learning about the plight of polar bears and climate change. Follow his adventures on Twitter using the hashtag #ExploreWithSven.



AZA Grants Accreditation to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

September 23rd, 2015

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Only zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “By achieving AZA-accreditation, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory demonstrates that it is dedicated to protecting species and educating its visitors about the natural world.”

To be accredited, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

“I hear from people so often that Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is one of their favorite family destinations,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “We should all be so proud of this incredible asset which brings in people from all over the city, state and region. I’m not at all surprised by today’s announcement, but am so proud of the hard work and dedication of our zoo staff and the abiding support from the community – which makes this accreditation possible.”

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit


Como Zoo’s Baby Giraffe Now Has a Name

September 14th, 2015

As a tribute to recently retired and ever-affable zookeeper Pete Lee, Como Zoo’s baby female giraffe now has a name: Frances.

“Over the years, while working behind the scenes, the animals and I would often listen to Frank Sinatra” said Lee. “I’ve always suggested that a nice name for one of our beautiful creatures would be Francis, or Frances with an ‘e’ for a female.”

Pete Lee worked 27 years at Como Zoo. At his retirement party, as a nod to Pete’s longtime penchant for naming an animal Francis, all the guests wore either a Frances or a Francis name-tag. Pete loved to step out from behind the scenes to engage the public. With a quick wit, the ability to tell a great story, and a larger-than-life personality, Pete would educate and entertain guests of all ages. In his 27 years at Como, Pete had worked with just about every animal and in every corner of the Zoo. He worked with the primates, big cats, and for the last nine years the bison, kudu, zebras, and giraffes. When asked what he thought of the naming honor, Pete Lee simply stated “I’m over the moon”.

Pete Lee continues to host his popular radio show “Bop Street,” once referred to as “the best American pop music show in the country”, every Monday from 4pm-6:30pm on Twin Cities “fresh air” community volunteer radio station KFAI.

Frances was born August 24th, and made her public debut August 27th. She is the 6th calf born to Clover and the 19th giraffe birth at Como Zoo in the last 22 years. Frances weighed 135 pounds at birth and now stands over 6” tall. Como’s current herd of giraffes consists of Clover, Daisy, Skeeter (father), and Frances.

Frances and Clover


Como Zoo Staff Excited About New Giraffe

September 10th, 2015

Thanks to Jeff Edmondson and Kare 11 for this great piece on Como’s newest addition!