“Brookfield Zoo Re-Opens, Celebrates 5th Birthday of Lions”

The Chicago Zoological Society (C.Z.S.) re-opened the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois after its second COVID-19-induced closure on Monday, March 1, A.D. 2021.  Last week, twin brother African lions Titus and Brutus celebrated their birthday on Wednesday, February 24, A.D. 2021.  Hope, a five-year-old polar bear arrived at Brookfield Zoo on Friday, January 29, A.D. 2021, so she will be new to zoo visitors. Two she-wolves also recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo. 

All guests ages two-and-over must wear face coverings upon entering the zoo.  Once on the grounds, it is no longer necessary to wear face coverings, but all members of a party must be prepared to bring their face coverings back up when coming into contact of six feet or less with either another party or staff members.

Seasonal food stands and walk-up carts are open.  Restaurants are closed.  As a matter of fact, all indoor spaces (including indoor animal habitats) are closed to the public, aside from washrooms.  Drinking fountains are turned off.  Outdoor souvenir stands are open.  Please note that cash is not being accepted on the grounds.  One must use a credit or debit card to purchase food or drinks or souvenirs. The Motor Safari is not in operation.  Nor is the Carousel. 

The underwater viewing areas for Seven Seas and Great Bear Wilderness are open, but with limited capacity.  Click here to access a map depicting a fill list of animals that can be seen in their outdoor habitats.

Washrooms and surfaces that visitors frequently touch are being cleansed with hospital-grade sanitizers.   There are hand sanitizer stations throughout the grounds.

Admission tickets are $24.95 per adult or $17.95 for children (ages three-to-eleven) or $19.95 for senior citizens (ages sixty-five-and-over).[1]  Tickets must be purchased online in advance.  They come in twenty-minute increments to enable social distancing on the 216-acre grounds.  Tickets are not available for sale on-site.  Tickets are non-refundable.  No rainchecks will be made.

Parking is $15.  All non-member guests who arrive via car, truck, van, or recreational vehicle are required to pay for parking on the Website and will need to indicate location – either the Main Gate or South Gate parking lots during the checkout process.  One can review a map of the grounds and parking lots here.  All Members receive free parking in the North Lot.  Members only need to pay for parking if they choose to park in the South Lot and are not eligible for free parking in the South Lot.[2]  For more information about protocols, click here.

The Brookfield Zoo celebrated the fifth birthday of Brutus and Titus with bones and “bloodcicles” for the big cats.  If you would like to help defray the cost of feeding and caring for Brutus, click here.  To help pay for Titus, click here.

Figure 1 Credit Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Caption: Here, we see twin brother African lions Brutus and Titus celebrating their fifth birthday at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on Wednesday, February 24, A.D. 2021.

Figure 2 Credit Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Caption: This is Titus the African lion, getting ready to eat treats Brookfield Zoo staff prepared to celebrate the fifth birthday of Titus and his twin brother, Brutus.

The Brookfield Zoo announced on Wednesday, February 24, A.D. 2021 that Hope, the female polar bear, would eventually be introduced to Hudson, the fourteen-year-old male polar bear.  [Introducing a female polar bear that zookeepers consider a potential mate for a male is a complicated affair that must be conducted in stages for her safety.]  They should fully come into contact in mid-March.

Figure 3 Credit Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Caption: This is Hope, a five-year-old polar bear that arrived at Brookfield Zoo on Friday, January 29, A.D. 2021.  She will gradually be introduced to Hudson, the Brookfield Zoo’s fourteen-year-old male polar bear.

Mexican wolves Sibi (pronounced See-bee) and her two-year-old daughter, Lorena, arrived at Brookfield Zoo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro, New Mexico.  They have been getting acclimated at the Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat.  In 2019, the Brookfield Zoo received Apache, a new alpha male for the Mexican wolf pack from the ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Figure 4 Credit Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Caption: This is Sibi, the female Mexican wolf.  She came to the Brookfield Zoo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro, New Mexico.

Figure 5 Credit Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Caption: This is Sibi, the female Mexican wolf, and her daughter, Lorena.

Figure 6 Credit Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Caption: These are the she-wolves Sibi and Lorena.  They are new additions to the Brookfield Zoo’s pack of Mexican wolves.

Figure 7 Credit Jim Schulz, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Caption: This is the two-year-old Mexican wolf Lorena, daughter of Sibi.  The pair arrived at Brookfield Zoo during its second COVID-19-induced closure.

The temporary exhibit Dinosaurs Alive! will remain open through Monday, September 6, A.D. 2021.   This exhibit features forty animatronic dinosaurs.  It includes an Argentinosaurus that is over 110 feet long and three stories high on the West Mall.[3]

DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures is sponsoring this week’s installments of Brookfield Zoo’s “Bringing the Zoo to You” channel on YouTube and Facebook in the name of The Croods: A New Age (2020).  The 3D C.G.I. (computer-generated imagery) movie is now available on streaming platforms, Blu-ray™, and D.V.D.  This is a sequel to The Croods (2013).

The C.Z.S.is a private, non-profit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.  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, Jr. (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). 

      The Brookfield Zoo met the American Humane Association’s rigorous standards for the care and welfare of animals to become the world’s first zoo to receive Humane Certified™ certification.  Under normal circumstances, the Brookfield Zoo is open every day of the year. 

Through Saturday, March 13, A.D. 2021, the Brookfield Zoo will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Starting on Sunday, March 14, A.D. 2021, the Brookfield Zoo will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays (the Monday-through-Friday workweek) and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends.

      The Brookfield Zoo is located between the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) and Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) and is also accessible via the TriState Tollway (I-294).  The North Gate Main Entrance address is 8400 West 31st Street, Brookfield, Illinois 60513.  The South Gate Main Entrance address is 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, Illinois 60513.  A train station, the Hollywood (Zoo Stop) on Metra’s B.N.S.F. line, is a few blocks to the south of the South Gate entrance.  The phone number is (708) 688-8000.  The Website is www.CZS.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Home.  Check https://www.CZS.org/Info for General Information www.CZS.org/KnowBeforeYouGo for status updates. 

END NOTES


[1] Tickets are free for active-duty, reservist, and retired members of the United States Armed Services.  These free tickets do not cover relatives.  Nor do they cover parking.  To enjoy this benefit, reserve a free ticket in advance online, purchase tickets for other members of your party, purchase a parking pass, and be prepared to show your ID card.

[2] Obviously, guests who arrive on foot or via public transportation are not required to pay for parking.

[3] If you enjoy seeing the Argentinosaurus mockup at Brookfield Zoo, check out thePatagotitan mayorum skeletal cast (dubbed Maximo) at The Field Museum of Natural History in downtown Chicago.

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