News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
April 1, 2016

Note: Photos of the apes at Brookfield Zoo, may be downloaded below
Western Lowland Gorilla_1
Western Lowland Gorilla_2
Western Lowland Gorilla_3
White-cheeked Gibbon_1
White-cheeked Gibbon_2 

Ape Awareness Weekend at Brookfield Zoo Brings Attention to Endangered Species
            Brookfield, Ill.—Swing over to Brookfield Zoo’s Tropic World for Ape Awareness Weekend. Learn about the apes of Asia and Africa and discover ways to help wild ape populations. The event, which takes place Saturday, April 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., will highlight the zoo’s three ape species: white-cheeked gibbons, orangutans, and western lowland gorillas.

Throughout the weekend, animal care specialists will present informal Zoo Chats about the zoo’s apes. A talk about orangutans will take place in the Asia section of Tropic World at noon, followed by a 1:00 p.m. chat on white-cheeked gibbons. Find out the differences between apes and monkeys at a 2:00 p.m. presentation in the South America section. The final chat will be at 2:45 p.m. and will highlight the gorilla family in the Africa section.

Zoogoers can also participate in ape-related activities, including comparing their own weight and handprints with those of an orangutan and gorilla, learning what the apes’ diets are at Brookfield Zoo, and even building a gorillas’ nest. Prior to visiting the zoo, youngsters can download fun activity and coloring sheets to learn more about apes at

During the event, zoogoers can find out how recycling unwanted cell phones and accessories, pagers, handheld games, e-readers, and laptops can save gorillas in their native habitat of West Africa. The industry that produces these particular electronics is threatening gorillas’ and other forest species’ habitats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a significant amount of the world’s supply of coltan is mined. Cell phones and other such devices require this metallic ore. The greater the demand for these products, the greater the demand there is for coltan, which sadly results in the destruction of the forests and their inhabitants.

According to the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, which is the largest association of wildlife centers in Africa, an estimated 3,000 great apes are lost every year due to wildlife smuggling. Millions of acres of forest disappear every month. The rapidly growing bushmeat trade is considered the most significant danger to the future of Africa’s wildlife: for every baby ape that is rescued, up to ten are slaughtered.
Ape Awareness Weekend activities are free with general zoo admission of $17.85 for adults and $12.50 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $11. For further information, visit or call (708) 688-8000. 


Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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