A 33-year-old tradition got a unique twist Saturday.
For the first time, participants at the Make Tracks Through Zoo Run actually got to run through the St. Louis Zoo’s most scenic features.
“I felt like we were a stampede through the zoo,” said runner Melanie Bernads
The perfect way to describe the sea of orange shirts running through Forest Park and the zoo which made for an odd wake up call at 7 a.m. for the animals who live along the run path.
“You could see they were looking at us. I think we were being watched more than us watching the animals. They were like 'what are they doing this early', ” said Bernads.
Steve Bircher of Curator of Carnivores said the animals are used to a lot of human exposure and interaction so the race should improve that relationship.
The course allowed runners and walkers to go through Forest Park and through the zoo’s news exhibits including the Grizzly Ridge habitat, home to the grizzly bears, Huck and Finely.
With about 4,700 participants, the race sold out quickly and had a record-breaking year of runners attend.
“The fact that we can have the zoo for free and the people in this area will come to this and give is fabulous,” said participant Linda Bollinger.
All proceeds will donated to the St. Louis zoo which allows the attraction to continuing operating for free.
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