News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
April 4, 2018
NOTE: Photos of the reindeer fawn at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded below:


Reindeer Fawn Born at Brookfield Zoo

     Brookfield, Ill.—Almost a year ago to the day of giving birth to her first fawn, Bunny, a reindeer at Brookfield Zoo, gave birth to her second fawn. The female reindeer was born on April 2 just after noon, following a gestation of about 7½ months. Guests visiting the zoo can see the two bonding in their outdoor habitat at Hamill Family Wild Encounters.

The unnamed fawn weighed just over 12 pounds at birth but will grow quickly, almost doubling her weight in two weeks due to her mother’s milk—a reindeer’s milk is one of the richest of the ungulate (hooved) species. She will also begin to graze on solid food in another week or two, but will still rely on Bunny for nutrition for about six months. Like her brother, who was born last year, the fawn was up and walking around her habitat within two hours of her birth.

Fawns are born with dark fur that absorbs radiant heat from the sun as well as acts as camouflage. At about two to three months, they begin to shed as lighter-colored fur grows in. Also, little antler buds begin developing at about a month old followed by short spikes within the first year.

Reindeer are found in arctic tundra and woodland edges in northern regions, including Scandinavia, Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Russia. They are different from all other deer species because their noses are covered with fur and both sexes have antlers. The antlers are made of solid living bone and no two sets are alike. Antlers grow out of small bony platforms called pedicles and are covered with velvet, a soft tissue that supplies necessary nutrients. Males shed their antlers in November and December and females later in January or February. Both genders begin growing a new set of antlers in early spring. Reindeer are well adapted to cold climates. They have hollow hairs that act as insulation by trapping in body heat. Two broad-hoofed toes help support them on snowy or swampy ground. Fatty tissue keeps the feet flexible in subzero weather. The hooves have sharp edges to help prevent slipping on ice. In the summer, the edges of the ho0oves wear down exposing a spongy pad that helps support them on spongy ground.
#      #      #
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 at 8400 31st Street 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.