Bertine Caulfield

Bertine Caulfield

Published: 16 Sep 2023


The Brookfield Zoo, located in Brookfield, Illinois, is a world-renowned destination for animal lovers and adventure seekers alike. With its expansive collection of wildlife, state-of-the-art facilities, and commitment to conservation and education, it offers a truly immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

In this article, we will uncover 19 mind-blowing facts about Brookfield Zoo that will leave you in awe of this remarkable establishment. From its fascinating history to its impressive animal exhibits, there is so much to learn and discover. So, buckle up and prepare to be amazed as we delve into the captivating world of Brookfield Zoo!

Table of Contents

The Oldest Zoological Park in Chicago

Brookfield Zoo, located in Brookfield, Illinois, is the oldest zoological park in the Chicago metropolitan area. Since its opening in 1934, it has been a prominent attraction for both locals and tourists.

Over 2,000 Animals from Around the World

Brookfield Zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from over 400 species, making it a diverse and fascinating place to explore. From majestic lions and tigers to playful dolphins and penguins, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

A Leader in Conservation Efforts

Not only does Brookfield Zoo provide an educational and entertaining experience for visitors, but it also plays a crucial role in conservation efforts. The zoo actively participates in breeding programs and research initiatives to help protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats.

The Birthplace of the First Giant Panda Cubs in the U.S.

In 1987, Brookfield Zoo made history by becoming the birthplace of the first giant panda cubs in the United States. The successful breeding program paved the way for future conservation efforts for this endangered species.

Hosts Exciting Special Events

Throughout the year, Brookfield Zoo hosts a variety of special events and activities for visitors of all ages. From annual holiday festivities to live music concerts, there is always something happening at the zoo to make your visit even more memorable.

Offers Interactive Animal Encounters

At Brookfield Zoo, visitors have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animals through interactive encounters. From feeding giraffes to swimming with dolphins, these experiences create lasting memories.

Home to the Tropic World Rainforest

The Tropic World Rainforest exhibit at Brookfield Zoo is an immersive and educational experience. Visitors can explore three different ecosystems: South America, Asia, and Africa, and observe animals like monkeys, jaguars, and gorillas in their naturalistic habitats.

Affiliated with the Chicago Zoological Society

Brookfield Zoo is operated by the Chicago Zoological Society, a non-profit organization committed to animal welfare, conservation, and education. The society is dedicated to ensuring the long-term viability of the zoo and its mission.

An Architectural Masterpiece

The zoo’s buildings and exhibits are not only fascinating for their inhabitants but also showcase remarkable architectural design. From the historic lion house to the modern dolphin habitat, every structure at Brookfield Zoo tells a story.

Offers Educational Programs for All Ages

Brookfield Zoo is not just a place for entertainment; it is also an educational institution. The zoo offers various programs and workshops for all age groups, from toddler classes to adult lecture series, emphasizing the importance of conservation and wildlife preservation.

Boasts a Carousel with Hand-painted Endangered Species

One of the unique attractions at Brookfield Zoo is its Carousel, featuring hand-painted panels of endangered species. This whimsical ride not only provides fun for visitors but also raises awareness about the importance of protecting endangered animals.

Home to the Great Bear Wilderness Exhibit

The Great Bear Wilderness exhibit at Brookfield Zoo recreates the pristine wilderness of the Alaskan tundra. It is home to species like grizzly bears, polar bears, wolves, and bison, allowing visitors to observe these majestic creatures up close.

Award-winning Habitat Restoration Efforts

Brookfield Zoo has been recognized for its outstanding habitat restoration efforts. The zoo’s staff works tirelessly to restore native habitats, create sustainable landscapes, and promote biodiversity within the zoo’s grounds.

Offers a Children’s Zoo

Young visitors will love exploring the Children’s Zoo at Brookfield Zoo. This interactive section allows children to interact with friendly farm animals, ride ponies, and learn about nature in a fun and engaging way.

Home to a Diverse Collection of Birds

Brookfield Zoo is a bird lover’s paradise, boasting a diverse collection of avian species. From brightly colored parrots to majestic birds of prey, visitors can enjoy watching these beautiful creatures in their aviaries.

Pioneer in Animal Breeding Programs

Brookfield Zoo has been successful in breeding a wide range of animals, contributing to the conservation of endangered species. The zoo’s breeding programs have helped increase the population of various species and contribute to scientific research.

The Home of Dinosaurs

Step back in time at Brookfield Zoo’s Dinos and Dragons exhibit. Visitors can explore life-sized dinosaur replicas and learn about prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth.

Offers Amazing Sky Safari

For a unique perspective of the zoo, visitors can take a ride on the Sky Safari. This aerial tram provides breathtaking views of the zoo’s grounds and allows visitors to see the animals from a different vantage point.

Surrounded by Beautiful Gardens

In addition to its animal exhibits, Brookfield Zoo is surrounded by stunning gardens. From vibrant flower displays to serene water features, the zoo’s beautifully landscaped gardens provide a peaceful and picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy.

These 19 mind-blowing facts about Brookfield Zoo showcase the zoo’s rich history, diverse animal collection, and commitment to conservation. Whether you’re an animal lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day out, this iconic zoological park has something for everyone. Plan your visit to Brookfield Zoo today and embark on a memorable journey of discovery and wonder.


Brookfield Zoo is truly an amazing destination for animal lovers of all ages. With its rich history, diverse range of species, and commitment to conservation, the zoo offers a unique and educational experience. From the fascinating exhibits to the engaging activities, there is always something new to discover at Brookfield Zoo.

Whether you’re observing the graceful movements of the dolphins, marveling at the size and strength of the rhinos, or learning about the importance of protecting endangered species, a visit to Brookfield Zoo is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the wonders of this incredible zoo!


Q: What are the opening hours of Brookfield Zoo?

A: Brookfield Zoo is open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm every day.

Q: Are there any discounts available for admission?

A: Yes, Brookfield Zoo offers various discounts for students, seniors, military personnel, and members of affiliated organizations. It’s always a good idea to check their website for current promotions and special offers.

Q: Can I bring my own food to the zoo?

A: Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food to the zoo. There are designated picnic areas where you can enjoy your meals. However, glass containers and alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

Q: Is parking available at Brookfield Zoo?

A: Yes, there is ample parking available at the zoo for a nominal fee. Visitors can easily find parking spaces near the entrance.

Q: Are strollers and wheelchairs available for rent?

A: Yes, strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent at the zoo on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be rented from the Guest Relations Office located near the North Gate entrance.

Q: Can I take photos at Brookfield Zoo?

A: Yes, visitors are welcome to take personal photos at the zoo. However, commercial photography and the use of tripods are only allowed with prior approval from the zoo administration.