News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708-688-8351,
June 28, 2017

Brookfield Zoo Offers New Animal Encounters

NOTE: Images of the Penguin Encounter and Giraffe Feeding programs at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded below:

DSC_5309-Penguin Encounter.jpg

Brookfield Zoo Offers New Animal Encounters
Brookfield, Ill.—If you’ve ever wanted to mingle with penguins or see a giraffe up close, now is your chance! The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is giving zoogoers the opportunity to meet their favorite feathered and lanky friends at its new Penguin Encounter and Giraffe Feeding programs.

During regular zoo hours, guests can waddle over to The Living Coast and participate in a Penguin Encounter, which is offered daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The approximately 45-minute session begins with a member of the animal care staff sharing fun facts about the zoo’s resident Humboldt penguins and communicating how to safely interact with the penguin during the encounter. Penguins, like people, have distinct personalities and interests that guests get to see firsthand. During the program, penguins are free to roam and waddle up to anyone they choose – and while one animal may be camera-shy, another individual may enjoy a good selfie or two.

Staff also talk about the conservation work the Chicago Zoological Society is doing in Punta San Juan, Peru, to help preserve the habitat and abundant wildlife, including Humboldt penguins that live along the South American coastline. Before bidding farewell to their newfound friend, participants may want to remember the color of the band on the penguin’s wing so they can identify it on their next visit to the zoo.

Penguin Encounters, which cost $40 per person, are offered year-round. Space is limited to 20 participants. Reservations are required and can be made online at or in Coast Gift Shop next to the exhibit. Participants must be at least 5 years old, and an adult must accompany children between ages 5 and 18.

Guests can also head over to Habitat Africa! The Savannah to participate in Giraffe Feeding, another exciting new opportunity being offered through Labor Day. For $10, guests can purchase a tasty treat for the reticulated giraffes and feed these magnificent creatures. During the feeding time, an animal care specialist is on hand to answer questions and share information about the zoo’s giraffe herd. This encounter is offered daily on a first-come, first-served basis from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or until greens are gone (weather dependent).
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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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