If there can be a problem with having a world-class, free zoo in our very own back yard, it's having a world-class, free zoo in our very own back yard. In other words, you can bet your Somali wild ass (found in the Red Rocks section) there's going to be a mass of people visiting the Saint Louis Zoo no matter the weather. And that's fine. From tourists to seasoned locals, first dates to cute old couples, the zoo is a great place for watching your fellow homo sapiens, to say nothing of our other cohorts in the animal kingdom. But sometimes it's nice to slip away from the crowds and into a climate-controlled building that beckons only the brave: the insectarium. There are certainly a few crawlies with creepy to spare — a pulsating pile of maggots, for one — but if you can stomach the less desirable invertebrates, you'll find some fascinating specimens of natural artistry. Our favorite is Waldo, the dead leaf mantis. We don't know if Waldo is actually his name, or even if he is actually a "he," but the zookeepers definitely filled this dead leaf mantis' enclosure with a bunch of dead leaves for a reason. If you can find the little feller, savor the moment because you are looking at the coolest creature in the zoo.
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