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Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo, also known as the Chicago Zoological Park, is a large zoo located in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield, Illinois. It is known for its naturalistic exhibits and diverse animal population. The zoo covers an area of 216 acres and houses approximately 450 species of animals, offering a variety of educational and interactive experiences for visitors.

History

Brookfield Zoo opened in 1934 and was one of the first zoos in the world to use moats and ditches instead of cages to separate animals from visitors, providing a more open and naturalistic viewing experience. The zoo has been a leader in animal care, conservation, and education, with a history that includes many notable firsts in the zoo community.

Location

Brookfield Zoo is situated at:

3300 Golf Rd
Brookfield, IL 60513

It’s easily accessible by car and public transportation from downtown Chicago and surrounding areas.

Website

For the latest information on hours, admission prices, exhibit details, and events, visitors can check the Brookfield Zoo’s official website at czs.org.

Exhibits and Attractions

Brookfield Zoo features a wide array of exhibits, including:

  • Big Cats: Home to lions, tigers, leopards, and other felines.
  • Great Bear Wilderness: An exhibit featuring North American animals such as grizzly bears and polar bears.
  • Tropic World: A multi-level rainforest exhibit housing primates, birds, and other species.
  • The Swamp: Showcasing the flora and fauna of a swamp environment.
  • Habitat Africa: Focused on African savanna and forest animals.
  • Australia House: Home to animals native to Australia, such as kangaroos and emus.
  • The Living Coast: Features animals from the coasts of Chile and Peru.

In addition to these exhibits, there are special experiences and attractions like:

  • Dolphins in Action: Live demonstrations with the zoo’s dolphins.
  • Hamill Family Wild Encounters: Hands-on experiences with animals, including feeding and petting opportunities.
  • Butterflies! Exhibit: A seasonal exhibit where visitors can walk among free-flying butterflies.

Conservation and Education

Brookfield Zoo is operated by the Chicago Zoological Society and is involved in various conservation and research efforts, both locally and globally. It offers educational programs for all ages, including camps, classes, and workshops that promote wildlife conservation.

Tips for Visiting

  • Plan Ahead: Check the schedule for feeding times, shows, and special events to make the most of your visit.
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: The zoo is expansive, and there’s a lot of walking involved.
  • Weather: Some exhibits are outdoors, so dress according to the weather.
  • Food: There are multiple dining options within the zoo, or you can bring your own food to enjoy in designated picnic areas.
  • Strollers and Wheelchairs: These can be rented at the zoo if needed.
  • Membership: If you plan on visiting multiple times a year, consider a membership for free admission and parking.

Conclusion: Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo is a beloved destination for families, animal lovers, and conservationists. It provides an opportunity to see and learn about wildlife from around the world in thoughtfully designed habitats. With its commitment to conservation, education, and providing a great visitor experience, the zoo is a place where you can spend a full day of enjoyment and learning, making it a must-visit for anyone in the Chicago area.

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