News Release

 
January 17, 2022
 
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOTE: Download images at end of press release.

 
Christmas Trees Repurposed as Enrichment for Animals at Brookfield Zoo
 

Brookfield, Ill.— Like many families who have recycled their Christmas trees, Brookfield Zoo is doing the same. The more than 700 trees, which were decorated by community organizations and companies as part of the zoo’s Tree Trim, will be turned to mulch and used in landscaping and flower beds throughout the 216-acre park.

But before that happens, today, some of the trees were repurposed and given as enrichment to several of the zoo’s animals. Hudson, the zoo’s male polar bear, seemed to enjoy his fish-mas tree. The African painted dogs; two snow leopards named Ahava and Malaya; and Brutus and Titus, the zoo’s 5-year-old African lions, all received meat and/or bones in their enrichment trees. And, the bison rubbed their horns on the trees and tossed them around their habitat.

Animal care specialists are always thinking of ways to physically and mentally stimulate the animals at Brookfield Zoo. One way is by providing them with enrichment items they normally do not receive on a regular basis, including the seasonal trees.

Winter is a great time to venture out to Brookfield Zoo and see the cold-hardy animals. It is recommended for guests to read the complete list of protocols and updates at CZS.org/KnowBeforeYouGo prior to their visit.

 
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Photo Captions (credit: Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
0482: Ahava and Malaya, two snow leopards at Brookfield Zoo, look for raw meat hidden in a Christmas tree, which they received as enrichment.
 
0588: Hudson, a male polar bear, received a fish-mas tree as enrichment from the animal care staff at Brookfield Zoo.
 
0685, 0717, and 0730: Titus, a 5-year-old African lion at Brookfield Zoo, looks for meat hidden in a Christmas tree that animal care staff gave as enrichment to several of the animals.
 
0803: Several of Brookfield Zoo’s animals received Christmas trees for enrichment. Joe, one of the zoo’s bison, seemed to enjoy throwing a tree around his habitat.
 
0872: Judy, one of Brookfield Zoo’s bison, flips a Christmas tree in the air. Animal care specialists are always thinking of ways to physically and mentally stimulate the animals at Brookfield Zoo. One way is by providing them with enrichment items they normally do not receive on a regular basis, including the seasonal trees.
 
0965: African painted dogs at Brookfield Zoo look for meat that was hidden in Christmas trees. Several of the animals, including the dogs, received the trees for enrichment.
 

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, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.
 
 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

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