News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

May 29, 2020


Brookfield Zoo Rocks--Literally

Brookfield, Ill. — Last week, nearly 60 small rocks with animals, flowers, and encouraging messages painted on them appeared at Brookfield Zoo. Some of the rocks were noticed near doorways to staff entrances at animal buildings. Others were seen along the zoo’s service road near entrances to the greenhouse, the Animal Hospital, and the Plant and Facilities and Powerhouse buildings. One was even spotted by the viewing window of the African lions’ outdoor habitat.

The person who painted and placed the rocks did it to hopefully put a smile on the faces of co-workers. The idea came about when the mystery “rocker” felt a little uplifted after noticing painted rocks in a neighborhood while on a walk.

Although Brookfield Zoo is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the zoo would love to spread the cheer and is encouraging kids and families to paint their own rocks at home. Post pictures of them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #BrookfieldZooRocks. Photos can also be messaged to the zoo via,, or

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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. 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
1538 - A collection of small rocks with animals, flowers, and encouraging messages painted on them appeared at Brookfield Zoo.
1874, 1876, 1890, 1912, 1916, 1993, 2004, 20202023, 2036, 2057 - Individual small rocks with animals, flowers, and encouraging messages painted on them appeared at Brookfield Zoo.


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


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