News Release

October 28, 2016


                      Contact : Sondra Katzen
                                    Public Relations

Photos may be downloaded below.
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3

Celebrate National Bison Day at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. – The whole family is invited to join the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) in celebrating National Bison Day at Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, November 5. This day is especially monumental in 2016 because President Barak Obama named bison the official national mammal of the United States this past May.

Guests can learn about the history of American bison and how these animals were on the verge of extinction in the early 20th century due to hunting and disease. Educational opportunities throughout the day will enlighten everyone on the threats facing bison in the wild and how people can protect the species.

Festivities will kick off at 10:00 a.m. in front of the bison’s habitat, where the zoo’s volunteer educators will be stationed until 3:00 p.m. to provide guests with interesting bison facts. Zoogoers will also be able to learn about this iconic North American species during special Zoo Chats at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. At Hamill Family Play Zoo, where admission will be free, kids can create bison horn headbands and participate in a parade that commences from the Play Zoo at 1:45 p.m.

Guest can also remember their visit to Brookfield Zoo by purchasing a Mold-A-Rama. These nostalgic plastic figures are celebrating 50 years at Brookfield Zoo, and a bison was created specifically for the anniversary. The Mold-A-Rama bison machine is located in the underwater viewing area at the Great Bear Wilderness exhibit.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages the zoo, is a member of the American Bison Coalition, which works to educate people about the species and protect it. The Society also sports a bison in its logo to commemorate the fact that the species came back from the brink of extinction.       Those interested in helping care for bison at the zoo can contribute to the Share the Care program. The $35 basic package includes a 5-inch by 7-inch color photograph of a bison, a personalized adoption certificate, a fact sheet about bison, a Share the Care car decal, and an invitation to the 2017 Share the Care Evening. For further information, visit

National Bison Day, which raises awareness for the species, will be observed across the nation. The day has become an annual celebration of the ecological, cultural, historical, and economic contribution of the U.S. national mammal. Native American tribes, conservationists, zoos, sportsmen and women, educators, and other public and private partners commemorate the day by hosting events in their communities.

Bison were rescued from extinction in the early 20th century. They are found in national parks, wildlife refuges, and state parks and on tribal and private lands. Additionally, bison production is an important economic driver in many states. An estimated 500,000 bison live across North America. Of these, approximately 20,000 are in U.S. public herds, 162,000 are in private production herds, and 15,000 are in tribal herds.

National Bison Day festivities are free with general zoo admission, which is $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.

#      #      #

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people 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. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


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


Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.


Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.