Great Bear Wilderness

Great Bear Wilderness



American Bison

Bald Eagle

Grizzly Bear

Mexican Gray Wolf

Polar Bear

  • American Bison
  • Bald Eagle
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Mexican Gray Wolf
  • Polar Bear

Go Eye-to-Eye at Great Bear Wilderness

Our newest naturalistic habitat, the largest exhibit ever undertaken at Brookfield Zoo, features iconic North American animals: Grizzly Bears, Polar Bears, Bison, Eagles, and Mexican Gray Wolves. When you begin your adventure through the state-of-the-art 7.5-acre exhibit, you will learn about the animals’ past, present, and future status, their deep cultural significance to people, and the survival challenges they face.


CZS has formed dynamic partnerships with many conservation organizations in order to better protect the species featured in Great Bear Wilderness. Click here to find out more about these organizations.

The first animal that you will encounter in the three-acre North American habitat are bison that are exhibited in a prairie setting with mountains and woodlands in the near distance. An interpretive tunnel, highlighting information on the relationship between bison and Native Americans, will guide you guests below these majestic animals and into Great Bear Wilderness.
Following  the Wilderness path, you'll view  bald eagle in  a mesh aviary behind a virtually invisible barrier.

Next, you'll discover Regenstein Woods, home to a pack of Mexican Grey Wolves.  From inside a unqiue glass "blind" you can observe the group interact without being detected.

As the path continues you'll enter the bear yards and underwater viewing.

The bears’  new yards are three times the space of the former Bear Grottos, thus allowing the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages the zoo, the opportunity to expand its polar bear breeding program for the benefit of the population living in North American zoos. The underwater viewing area allows guests to see the polar bears and grizzlies swimming in pools and also to watch them above the waterline.

Get Involved

Conservation Fund of the Chicago Zoological Society