News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

March 19, 2020


Brookfield Zoo Closed Temporarily to the Public

Brookfield, Ill. – Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) staff has been closely monitoring COVID-19 developments, the significant increase in reported cases, and recommendations from local, state, and federal government agencies. To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, effective tomorrow, March 19, Brookfield Zoo will close all of its facilities, both grounds and buildings, to the public through April 30. Staff will continue to monitor and evaluate developments on a daily basis in order to establish an appropriate date for reopening the zoo’s facilities to the public.

During Brookfield Zoo’s closure, essential animal care specialists and veterinary staff will continue providing the animals with the same high-level of care. In addition, a small crew of the zoo’s plant and facilities staff will be on-site to service buildings and equipment. All other staff is being asked to work remotely at this time.

Until today, Brookfield Zoo was open to guests for the past week with limited access. Only outdoor grounds remained open, and all indoor buildings, including animal habitats, Discovery Center, restaurants, and gift shops have been closed since March 14 along with the zoo’s playgrounds and Carousel.

“The health and safety of our guests, volunteers, staff, and animals is of paramount importance,” said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of CZS. “We have been extremely diligent in communicating to staff the most recent updates from health officials, increased the strength of disinfectants used within the park to hospital grade, posted signage reminding guests and staff of proper hygiene and social distancing, suspended staff travel, and instructed employees to stay home if they were not feeling well. As the situation has progressed, we have a responsibility to do our part to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.”

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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. 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 also is 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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