News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

May 18, 2020


Brookfield Zoo’s Bear Awareness Celebration Goes Virtual

Week of May 17 Features Live Chats and At-Home Activities

Brookfield, Ill. — If Brookfield Zoo was open, animal care specialists and volunteers would be engaging guests in a variety of bear-themed activities during its annual Bear Awareness celebration. However, since the zoo is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is going virtual in a BEAR-y big way with live chats, videos, and fun activities to do at home.

Throughout the week of May 17, bear lovers of all ages can learn about the zoo’s three species of bears—polar bears, Alaskan brown bears, and sloth bears. Tune in to Brookfield Zoo’s “Bringing the Zoo to You” Facebook Live chat on May 19 at 11:00 a.m. to find out about the Alaskan brown bear brothers—Jim and Axhi. In the afternoon on May 19, an Instagram live chat at 2:00 p.m. will feature the zoo’s nutritionist, who will present the diets of all the bears, including Hudson and Nan, the zoo’s two polar bears. Finally on May 21, via Facebook Live at 11:00 a.m., viewers can see the sloth bears interacting with their wobble tree and learn the different ways they use their sense of smell. Those who can’t tune in at the scheduled times, can watch all the chats on the zoo’s Youtube channel and Facebook page.

Additionally during the week, other pre-recorded videos will be posted on the zoo’s social media channels that highlight how the bears are cared for at Brookfield Zoo, the threats and concerns bears face in the wild, and some fun facts that showcase the bears’ personalities. On Brookfield Zoo’s website at, kids can download bear-centrric “I Scienced” At-Home activity sheets, both in English and Spanish. Coloring pages featuring polar bears and brown bears are also available to download as well as three different bear masks. Kids can color one or all of the masks, cut them out, and then tape a string to each one to wear around their own local wilderness.

Those interested in helping care for Brookfield Zoo’s bears can contribute to the Animal Adoption program. For $35, a recipient receives the Basic Package, which includes a 5-inch x 7-inch color photograph of a polar bear, Alaskan brown bear, or sloth bear; a personalized certificate of adoption; a fact sheet about the species of choice; and an Animal Adoption program decal. To purchase a package, visit

During its temporary closure, Brookfield Zoo has been keeping the public connected to animals and nature with its weekday Facebook Live chats and Instagram chats on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition to bear-themed educational activities, the zoo also has several other fun and engaging “I Scienced” At-Home e-learning resources for pre-kindergarten to second graders. These can be downloaded at

# # #

About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities 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. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit

Photo Captions—credit Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society
0690, 0667 - Brown bears at Brookfield Zoo
1155, 0287 - Polar bears at Brookfield Zoo
0252, 0408 - Sloth bears at Brookfield Zoo


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


Center for the Science of Animal Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Classes and Camps

Center for Conservation Leadership

We place a high priority on developing and supporting conservation leaders of all ages and backgrounds.


Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.