NEW PENGUIN ENCOUNTER AND GIRAFFE FEEDING AT BROOKFIELD ZOO
If you’ve ever wanted to mingle with penguins or see a giraffe up close, now is your chance! The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is giving zoogoers the opportunity to meet their favorite feathered and lanky friends at its new Penguin Encounter and Giraffe Feeding programs.
During regular zoo hours, guests can waddle over to The Living Coast and participate in a Penguin Encounter, which is offered daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The approximately 45-minute session begins with a member of the animal care staff sharing fun facts about the zoo’s resident Humboldt penguins and communicating how to safely interact with the penguin during the encounter. Penguins, like people, have distinct personalities and interests that guests get to see firsthand. During the program, penguins are free to roam and waddle up to anyone they choose – and while one animal may be camera-shy, another individual may enjoy a good selfie or two. Staff also talk about the conservation work the Chicago Zoological Society is doing in Punta San Juan, Peru, to help preserve the habitat and abundant wildlife, including Humboldt penguins that live along the South American coastline. Before bidding farewell to their newfound friend, participants may want to remember the color of the band on the penguin’s wing so they can identify it on their next visit to the zoo. Penguin Encounters, which cost $40 per person, are offered year-round. Space is limited to 20 participants. Reservations are required and can be made online at CZS.org/Penguins or in Coast Gift Shop next to the exhibit. Participants must be at least 5 years old, and an adult must accompany children between ages 5 and 18.
Guests can also head over to Habitat Africa! The Savannah to participate in Giraffe Feeding, another exciting new opportunity being offered through Labor Day. For $10, guests can purchase a tasty treat for the reticulated giraffes and feed these magnificent creatures. During the feeding time, an animal care specialist is on hand to answer questions and share information about the zoo’s giraffe herd. This encounter is offered daily on a first-come, first-served basis from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or until greens are gone (weather dependent).