Blog: Carlita the Croc

Where is the love? At Brookfield Zoo!

Valentine’s Day is coming up and we all have love on the mind!  Although people’s thoughts are usually towards the romantic kind of love, there are actually many versions of love.  Lately, you may have felt like it has been difficult to see the love that surrounds us every day, so I thought I would take some time to show how, “Love, actually, is all around,” especially at Brookfield Zoo.

  1. Eros – This is the version that makes people blush, but it is a natural part of life for the critters at Brookfield Zoo!  Mated pairs of animals at the zoo occasionally succumb to their natural instincts, to the chagrin or amusement of the casual zoo-goer.  But no need to be embarrassed!  I assure you, we animals aren’t!


  1. Philia – This is often referred to as “brotherly” (or sisterly!) love.  I most often see this love displayed between the coworkers and colleagues at Brookfield Zoo.  These folks may not be related to one another, but they are bound by their dedication to providing a better world to animals both at the zoo and in the wild.  Many zoo staff refer to their coworkers as their “second family” or have found their best friend in a colleague!


  1. Ludus – Ah, this is the most widespread version of love at Brookfield Zoo!  It is the “playful” love that can be spotted in a couple on their first date or a group of teens spending a day at the zoo together.  This is the love you experience when you giggle with a friend while getting nibbled by a goat or when riding the carousel!


  1. Agape – Universal love.  Selfless love.  Chicago Zoological Society’s volunteer corps embodies this the best.  These folks are here day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, through rain, sleet, snow, and heat to serve.  Whether it’s simply to hand you a map and give you directions to the nearest restroom or setting up hormone samples for our endocrinology scientists, volunteers generously donate their time to others and expect nothing in return. 


  1. Philautia – This one is tricky, because there are two versions of this kind of love.  In general, Philautia refers to “self-love,” but there can be a productive way to self-love and an unproductive way to self-love.  The unproductive kind is the one where you retake that duckface selfie ten times to garner maximum likes on Instagram.  The productive kind is the one where you take time to truly care for yourself, mind and body. 

So what does that have to do with Brookfield Zoo? I’m glad you asked!  Studies have shown that being out in nature has restorative effects and Brookfield Zoo is situated on over 200 acres of forest preserve land.  Spending time getting some light or moderate exercise, taking in the fresh air, and marveling at the beautiful flora and fauna will invigorate your spirit.  Investing in this type of self-love will allow you to see and share all the other types of love with those around you.
So, if you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places, stop by Brookfield Zoo!  We’re free on weekends, Tuesdays and Thursday until the end of the month!  As if that wasn’t enough reason, head over on February 12th for FREEze Day when we will have DOGS here for a free dogsled demonstration!  Don’t forget to share the love with me on Twitter and Insta @CandidCroc!

Posted: 2/7/2017 9:41:31 AM by

Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.


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