News Release

Contact: Sandra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
April 10, 2017
NOTE: Images of penguins at Brookfield Zoo, may be downloaded below.
Photo 7315
Photo 7282
Photo 8596
Photo 8590
Photo 0483
7315 and 7282: On World Penguin Day at Brookfield Zoo, guests can get up-close to one of the zoo’s Humboldt penguins.
8596: The public has a chance to win a piece of artwork done by Pepe, one of Brookfield Zoo’s Humboldt penguins. Guests will be able to meet Pepe at the zoo’s World Penguin Day celebration on Saturday, April 22.
8590: Divot, one of Brookfield Zoo’s Humboldt penguins creates a unique piece of artwork. Guests can meet Divot and the rest of the penguin colony at the zoo on World Penguin Day, Saturday, April 22.
0483: On World Penguin Day at Brookfield Zoo, guests can participate in a variety of penguin-themed activities and get to know more about these charismatic birds.

Celebrate World Penguin Day at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. –Waddle over to Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, April 22, to celebrate World Penguin Day and learn about the zoo’s colony of Humboldt penguins, along with conservation efforts to help protect these charismatic animals.

On The Living Coast Plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., guests of all ages can participate in penguin-themed activities. The “penguin egg shuffle” allows zoogoers to see what it takes to be a penguin parent as they balance a replica egg on their feet and walk—the way several species of penguins protect their eggs. A “who am I” activity demonstrates how animal care staff use a color-coded system to identify each of the penguins at Brookfield Zoo.

The first 1,000 kids joining in the festivities on the plaza will receive a keepsake World Penguin Day wristband. They can then go into The Living Coast and match their bands with a penguin that has the same color wing band. A penguin ID guide posted in the habitat will identify each bird.

Two of the zoo’s penguins, Divot and Pepe, have become known for their artistic abilities. With their fancy footwork and nontoxic watercolors, they have created fun and unique paintings. Guests can meet one of the penguins during “meet the artist” sessions at noon and 2:00 p.m. on the plaza and see the art. A photo of the penguin “artist” and his “signature”—a footprint—are on the back of each painting. The public has an opportunity to win one of three available paintings through an online drawing. From Tuesday, April 18, 10:00 a.m. CST, through Sunday, April 23, 9:00 p.m. CST, penguin lovers (must be 13 years of age or older) can enter at Three winners from the entrants will be randomly chosen and announced on the zoo’s Facebook page and website on Monday, April 24.

Joining in the day’s fine-feathered festivities on the plaza will be the zoo’s penguin costumed character, who will be available for photo opportunities from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Volunteer educators will show penguin artifacts to guests and share interesting facts about the birds.

In addition, animal care staff will present penguin Zoo Chats at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. in The Living Coast’s Rocky Shores habitat. During the informal talks, guests can learn what a day in the life of a penguin is like and hear about some of the dangers they face in the wild. Guests can also watch penguin feedings at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

“On World Penguin Day, not only do we want to celebrate penguin species, we also want to teach our guests about the efforts that the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) is taking to help conserve these beautiful birds,” says Tim Snyder, curator of birds for the Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo. “In addition to our penguin enrichment activities specifically here at the zoo, we will be highlighting the work that is being done to safeguard the species’ native habitat in South America.”

CZS’s conservation efforts expand far beyond the boundaries of the zoo. In a partnership with Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, the Society works to maintain and staff a field research project in Peru. Led by Dr. Michael Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine for CZS, the Punta San Juan Program’s main objective is to produce scientific knowledge for the development of tools that will aid in the conservation and management of an ecologically viable marine protected area.

Zoogoers can help keep these majestic birds safe with simple daily practices, including recycling plastic waste and using reusable bags at grocery stores. Individuals can also download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Consumer Guide, which suggests seafood consumption choices based on responsible fishing practices. These everyday actions can ultimately help reduce toxic waste that is dumped into the oceans, the home of penguins.

Marine life is especially susceptible to ingesting plastic waste or food already contaminated by toxins. Recent estimates suggest that 100,000 marine animals are killed each year as a result of plastic pollution. Penguins and other marine life desperately rely on the elimination of plastic pollution for survival and longevity. To bring awareness to the effects of plastic waste on ocean life, there will be a penguin sculpture made of plastic trash.

Those interested in helping care for the Humboldt penguins at Brookfield Zoo can contribute to the Share the Care program. For $35, the recipient will receive the Basic Package, which includes a 5-inch x 7-inch color photograph of a penguin, a personalized adoption certificate, a fact sheet about the species, a Share the Care car decal, and an invitation to the 2017 Share the Care Evening. For further information, visit

World Penguin Day activities are free with zoo admission of $19.95 for adults and $14.50 for children 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Parking is $12. Brookfield Zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield. For more information about World Penguin Day at Brookfield Zoo, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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