Join our zoo community

Lone Elk County Park Birdsandbats' Lone Elk Park Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by birdsandbats, 20 Jun 2018.

  1. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    11,433
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    https://www.stlouisco.com/parksandrecreation/parkpages/loneelk

    Date of Visit: June 17 2018

    Lone Elk County Park is a 546-acre park located just outside St. Louis, Missouri. It is sort of like a wildlife preserve and a safari park at the same time. It opened in 1948 as Tyson Valley Park. It closed in 1951, then reopened in 1961 as Lone Elk County Park.

    Entrance
    There are several entrances to Lone Elk Park, but they all pretty much are the same. The entire property has a fence around it. You drive/walk/bike/whatever other mode of transportation you choose through a gate with hoof guards. Why all these fences and hoof guards, you ask? As soon as you enter, you have already entered a safari park. Admission is free.

    Elk Enclosure
    The entire 546-acres in ALL used up by the two enclosures the park has. The park is split down the middle for two enclosures, one for American Elk and White-Tailed Deer, the other for American Bison. I will start with the elk/deer enclosure, as that is where I entered.
    The enclosure is MASSIVE, COLOSSAL, and HUGE all at the same time. I don't know the exact acreage, but I know the elk enclosure is about the same size as the bison one. Keeping in mind that the entire park is made up of two enclosures. This means it is ~273 acres.
    In the elk enclosure, one is allowed to get out of your vehicle. Take a walk through the woods. Get on your bike. Pretty much anything, as long you don't drive a motorcycle, get out of the park before it closes, and don't get too close to the Wapiti and Whitetails. You are even allowed to go fishing in the large pond.
    The enclosures are also great for birding. I didn't look too hard, but Wild Turkeys and Eastern Fox Squirrels were everywhere in both enclosures. If you rolled down the windows, you could hear various warblers singing from the forest canopy.
    Oh yeah, speaking of forests, the enclosure is almost completely forested. If you can't see a fence from where you are, the view into the woods is amazing. Both enclosures are filled with old concrete structures from when the army owned the land (during both World Wars and the Korean War). In addition, both enclosures have incredibly varied terrain, and lots of hills and flat areas.

    Bison Enclosure
    Pretty much the same except there are bison instead of elk and deer. The main difference is that you must stay in you vehicle at all times. Oh, and you aren't allowed to approach the bison IN YOUR CAR. There is a sign saying "Bison have damaged cars."

    Overall Lone Elk County Park is absolutely excellent, and I highly recommend a visit. The enclosures are very nice, and the birding is great. It is also right across the street from the World Bird Sanctuary, which I also visited. You can go see some elk, then hop across the street and see rare raptors.

    Conservation Efforts
    Lone Elk Park is a very natural area, filled with many animals. There are surprising few invasive species around the grounds, which means someone/something must be pulling/eating them. I think the only invasive plant I saw was a single Japanese Barberry bush. Also, I am not sure on this, but I am pretty sure their bison are pure.

    Species List:

    Mammals (3 species)
    American Bison
    White-Tailed Deer
    American Elk
    Birds (0 species)
    N/A
    Reptiles (0 species)
    N/A
    Amphibians (0 species)
    N/A
    Inverts (0 species)
    N/A
    Total: 3 species

    Awards

    Biggest Bison Enclosure

    Biggest Elk Enclosure

    Biggest Whitetail Enclosure

    The Zoo Where It Is Most Important To Obey The Signs

    Most Interesting History

    The Only Zoo Where It Can Say "The Other Zoo Across The Street Has Tawny Owls and Wedge-Tailed Eagles"

    Probably The Only Zoo Which Has Another Zoo Across the Street Anyway

    Smallest Collection
     
    StoppableSan, Kifaru Bwana and Brum like this.
  2. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member 15+ year member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    12,368
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    It would be interesting to learn about the free ranging wildlife in the park (outside of the wapiti, white-tailed deer and American bison)! Is there some sort of birds list (as I imagine the park will attract quite a number of bird spotters ...)?

    Also: do you know if the bison herd is pure-bred or not?
     
  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    11,433
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I believe the bison are purebred, but I may be wrong. I know that their current bison herd in decided from animals donated by the Saint Louis Zoo in 1961.
     
  4. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    11,433
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I don't think there is an official bird list, but there is the eBird hotspot details:

    https://ebird.org/hotspot/L1234086
     
    Kifaru Bwana likes this.
  5. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    11,433
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Pictures have now been uploaded!
     
    Kifaru Bwana likes this.