Blog: Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare

Black rhino undergoes portable CT scan at Brookfield Zoo

Layla, a 7½ -year-old, 2,300-pound eastern black rhinoceros who lives at Brookfield Zoo, recently underwent what is believed to be the first CT (computed tomography) scan ever performed on this species. The scan was necessary to help veterinarians determine the next steps for treating an obstruction in Layla’s nasal passageway.

posted 4/24/2018 11:32:36 AM |

Engaged Animals

At Brookfield Zoo, we are committed to providing the animals with the highest possible levels of care and welfare, and part of that care starts with our enrichment program. Environmental enrichment is providing animals under professional care with opportunities for them to engage in behaviors they are motivated to perform.

posted 4/17/2018 4:07:54 PM |

Chicago Zoological Society Mourns Loss of Beloved Gorilla

The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) is sad to announce the loss of Ramar, a 50-year-old western lowland gorilla today, April 12. A few weeks ago animal care staff reported that he was not eating. Veterinary staff performed a complete evaluation on Ramar, including a CT scan, ultrasound, and endoscopy. During the exam, it was revealed that Ramar had a partial blockage of his bowel and stomach with plant material from his normal diet. He was experiencing diminished bowel function, which is a common challenge in geriatric patients. Veterinary and animal care staff were able to help manage Ramar through this concern. However, during his recovery, Ramar’s overall comfort became a major consideration. Based on his quality of life, staff made the very difficult conclusion that euthanasia was the most humane decision for Ramar.

posted 4/12/2018 1:23:49 PM |

#LoboWeek 2018

Happy Lobo Week! In March 1998, 11 captive-reared Mexican wolves were released to the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, their ancestral home from which they had been missing for over 30 years. This month marks the 20th anniversary of the historic first release efforts which restored this unique gray wolf species to the mountains of the southwest.  The Chicago Zoological Society at Brookfield Zoo is celebrating #loboweek by sharing some facts about the Mexican wolf recovery program.

posted 3/26/2018 10:45:29 AM |

Humboldt Penguin Chick Born at Brookfield Zoo

A Humboldt penguin chick that hatched on February 12 at Brookfield Zoo is thriving, and in the near future, may be taking on an important role. As early as this May, and depending on whether he chooses to participate, the unnamed chick will be an animal ambassador for the zoo’s Penguin Encounters.

posted 3/21/2018 2:34:08 PM |

Imagine Yourself as a Humboldt Penguin

Close your eyes and imagine you are a Humboldt penguin at Brookfield Zoo. You just got your fishy breakfast and now standing on the rocky shores. You’re trying to decide if you want to walk around for a bit or to go into the pool for a swim…until you see it. An enrichment item is right there in front of you, and you excitedly go over and investigate it. What kind of enrichment were you picturing? 

posted 3/5/2018 12:05:23 PM |

What is a Pangolin?

What is a pangolin? The first time most people hear the name, they mistakenly assume you said “penguin”.  When corrected, most then just shake their head or say they have no idea what a pangolin is. This odd-looking creature completely covered in scales may not be well known but unfortunately, they have the distinction of being the world’s most illegally trafficked mammal. And now, people are starting to take notice.

posted 2/15/2018 11:30:26 AM |

Orangutan Undergoes Successful Appendectomy at Brookfield Zoo

Ben, a 40-year-old male orangutan at Brookfield Zoo, is making a full recovery after an emergency appendectomy on January 23, 2018. The team who performed the surgery included 10 members of the Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) veterinary staff as well as medical personnel from AMITA Health Hinsdale and La Grange, including Drs. Eric Yang and William Frymark, general surgeons who have performed this procedure on many of their human patients. Because the anatomy is similar between nonhuman primates and humans, teaming zoo veterinarians with doctors who treat people is fairly routine when it comes to more complicated cases, and even occasionally in other species with specific medical concerns.

posted 2/13/2018 12:01:37 PM |

Mexican Wolves at Brookfield Zoo Undergo Reproductive Procedures

Learn how the Chicago Zoological Society worked alongside a team assembled by the Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences Department from Saint Louis Zoo to further advance the science of artificial reproduction to help save the endangered Mexican wolf.

posted 2/8/2018 10:45:26 AM |

Maxine Dolphin: Playing to Learn

Meet Tapeko and Maxine, the unlikely bottlenose dolphin duo that are solving problems together. Tapeko is a spry 36 year old female and is the matriarch of our pod here at Brookfield Zoo. Maxine is a vivacious 3 year old and the youngest member of the group. Together, they are solving a dolphin version of a vending machine.

posted 1/30/2018 2:39:26 PM |

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Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare

Read the latest exciting stories about how our experts are advancing the science of “animal-directed” care through innovative programs at Brookfield Zoo and global field efforts.


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