“Kids Send Drawings to Brookfield Zoo’s New Lions”

The Chicago Zoological Society (C.Z.S.) revealed in press releases in April and May that children have been sending images and messages to the Brookfield Zoo for newly-arrived African lion brothers Titus and Brutus and the C.Z.S. is encouraging wee tykes to keep doing it.  The C.Z.S. revealed on Sunday, April 19, A.D. 2020 that ever since public found out about the arrival of Brutus and Titus as Brookfield Zoo in mid-March via Brookfield Zoo’s weekly Facebook Live chats  on Thursday, April 2, A.D. 2020, since the four-year-old brother lions arrived after the zoo’s pandemic-induced closure, children have begun to send in drawings of the big cats to welcome them to the zoo.  They arrived from Utah’s Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, March 17, A.D. 2020 (Saint Patrick’s Day).  The C.Z.S. operates the Brookfield Zoo in west suburban Brookfield, Illinois on property that belongs to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

      The staff decided to display these drawings on the window of the leonine outdoor habitat (through which zoo visitors would be able to see them if the zoo was open).  The images have sparked the interested of Titus, if not Brutus.  Subsequently, the staff decided to fill the window with artworks submitted by children.  Parents can share original drawings and messages for Brutus and Titus on the Brookfield Zoo’s Facebook Page.  The staff will print out the submissions and add them to the window. 

Figure 1 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Brother African lions  Titus (front and center) and Brutus (on the right) view images and messages children have sent to them since their public debt at the Brookfield Zoo in a Facebook Live chat on Thursday, April 2, A.D. 2020. They arrived at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on Tuesday, March 17, A.D. 2020 (Saint Patrick’s Day), after the pandemic-induced closure of the zoo. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, April 19, A.D. 2020.

Figure 2 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Brother African lions  Titus (front and center) and Brutus (on the right) view images and messages children have sent to them since their public debt at the Brookfield Zoo in a Facebook Live chat on Thursday, April 2, A.D. 2020.  The staff has been posting images and message children sent in onto this window that zoo visitors would use to see the lions in their outdoor habitat if the zoo were open. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, April 19, A.D. 2020.

Figure 3 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Titus, one of the Brookfield Zoo’s two new four-year-old African lion brothers, sits in front of an outdoor habitat window where the zoo staff has displayed welcoming images and messages from children.  His brother, Brutus, can be seen in the distance. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, April 19, A.D. 2020.


Figure 4 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Titus, one of the Brookfield Zoo’s two new four-year-old African lion brothers, sits in front of an outdoor habitat window where the zoo staff has displayed welcoming images and messages from children. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, April 19, A.D. 2020.

When the Brookfield Zoo re-opens, guests will be able to see the lion brothers along the Big Cat walkway.  Born in the same litter on Wednesday, February 24, A.D. 2016, Brutus and Titus have distinguishing features that enable zookeepers and guests to tell them apart. 

Brutus has a mane that is long, dark, and straight.  His brother’s is shorter, as well as lighter in color and fizzier.  Titus is a few inches taller than Brutus.  He also has a continuous fringe of dark hair that runs along his body to his belly.

On Monday, May 4, A.D. 2020, the C.Z.S. announced that children have continued to send drawings and messages to Titus and Brutus and enough had been received to frame the window.  The C..Z.S. does not want so many sheets of paper to be displayed on the window that the African lion brothers are unable to see outside their habitat (and zoo visitors are unable to see inside), so the Brookfield Zoo staff created a Webpage on its Website, CZS.org/BrutusAndTitusDrawings, where they could display all the artworks.  They encourage children to keep submitting drawings to the Brookfield Zoo via its Facebook and Instagram pages and drawings will continue to be added to the collection.

Figure 5 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Titus is on the left and Brutus is on the right. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Figure 6 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Titus is on the left and Brutus is on the right. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Figure 7 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Children keep sending images and messages to African lion brothers Titus and Brutus.  Zookeepers have added enough of these images and messages to the leonine outdoor habitat window to frame the window. This is Titus looking out the window.  Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Figure 8 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Children keep sending images and messages to African lion brothers Titus and Brutus.  Zookeepers have added enough of these images and messages to the leonine outdoor habitat window to frame the window. Titus is on the left and Brutus is on the right.  Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Figure 9 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Children keep sending images and messages to African lion brothers Titus and Brutus.  Zookeepers have added enough of these images and messages to the leonine outdoor habitat window to frame the window. This is Titus looking out the window.  Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Figure 10 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Children keep sending images and messages to African lion brothers Titus and Brutus.  Zookeepers have added enough of these images and messages to the leonine outdoor habitat window to frame the window. This is Brutus looking out the window at a Brookfield Zoo staff member.  Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Figure 11 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Here, we see Titus and Brutus relaxing in their outdoor habitat. Titus is on the higher rock slab and Brutus is on the lower rock slab. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Figure 12 Credit: Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Here, we see Titus and Brutus relaxing in their outdoor habitat. Titus is on the higher rock slab and Brutus is on the lower rock slab. Mr. Schulz took this picture on Sunday, May 3, A.D. 2020.

Founded in 1920 and chartered in 1921, the C.Z.S. brought to life the vision of Edith Rockefeller McCormick (1872-1932) to give Chicago a zoo without bars modeled on the Tierpark Hagenbeck, known in English as the Hagenbeck Animal Park, a privately-owned zoo in Hamburg founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenback, Junior (1844-1913).  The Brookfield Zoo opened in 1934, during the second year of Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-34). 

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