News Release

December 19, 2018

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,


Orangutan Turns 2 at Brookfield Zoo


Brookfield, Ill. – Heidi, an orangutan at Brookfield Zoo turns 2 on December 20. Guests who visit her at the zoo’s Tropic World: Asia, may notice that she has become quite adventuresome and can be seen exploring the habitat on her own and maneuvering up and down the vines with ease However, her mom, Sophia, always keeps a close eye on her.

With all of her baby teeth grown in, Heidi is now eating solid foods, although she will continue to nurse from her mother until she is between 4 and 6 years old. Young orangutans stay with their mothers until about age 8, one of the longest dependencies of any mammal.

Like all the orangutans at Brookfield Zoo, Heidi is learning to assist in her own health care by participating in training sessions with animal care staff. Some behaviors include presenting various body parts for staff to inspect and opening her mouth.

# # #


About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities 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 at 8400 31stStreet in Brookfield, Illinois, 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
Media Relations Manager
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.