News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
March 26, 2019

Brookfield Zoo’s Ape Awareness Weekend Brings Attention
to Declining Wild Ape Populations
Photo Captions--credit Chicago Zoological Society

DSC_2808: A young guest compares her hand size to that of an orangutan's during Brookfield Zoo's Ape Awareness Weekend.

DSC_3479: Heidi, one of Brookfield Zoo's orangutans.

DSC_6391: Sophia, an orangutan at Brookfield Zoo's Tropic World: Asia habitat.

DSC_6710: White-cheeked gibbons can be seen in Brookfield Zoo's Tropic World: Asia habitat.

DSC_7932: Ali, a western lowland gorilla at Brookfield Zoo's Tropic World: Africa habitat.

DSC_8325: Kecil, one of Brookfield Zoo's orangutans.

DSC_9324: Nora, one of Brookfield Zoo's western lowland gorillas, will be highlighted during the zoo's Ape Awareness Weekend.


            Brookfield, Ill. –Venture over to Brookfield Zoo’s Tropic World for the annual Ape Awareness Weekend. Fun-filled ape-related activities take place on Saturday, April 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The two-day event highlights the agility, strength, and intelligence of the zoo’s three ape species—western lowland gorillas, orangutans, and white-cheeked gibbons—as well as the plight they face in the wild.
            Guests can participate in interactive activities such as comparing their own weight, arm length, and hand size with those of an orangutan and gorilla, and building ape-like nests using paper and wheelbarrows. There will be explanations of the types of food that apes eat at Brookfield Zoo as well as a display of items used for training the animals to participate in their own health care.
            On both days, zoogoers can attend special Zoo Chats throughout Tropic World to learn more about ape populations, including the dangers they face in the wild and what can be done to help them. Informal talks about orangutans and white-cheeked gibbons take place in the Asia section at noon and 1:00 p.m. respectively. An overview about primate conservation will be discussed at 2:00 p.m. in the South America section. Finally, western lowland gorillas will be highlighted at 2:45 p.m. in the Africa section.
            A great way to help animals in the wild is to donate old cell phones, cell phone accessories, pagers, handheld games, e-readers, and laptops at the zoo’s recycling stations, which are located at the North and South Gates. Coltan—a metallic ore used in the manufacturing of these products—is primarily mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The greater the demand for these electronics, the greater the demand for coltan, the mining of which results in the destruction of gorilla habitats. Recycling helps reduce mining and thus supports conservation and species survival.
            According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN), western lowland gorillas, orangutans, and white-cheeked gibbons are all critically endangered in their native habitats. Depending on the species, the causes for the decline in their populations vary – they include illegal hunting, deforestation, the bushmeat trade, disease, and climate change.
            Admission to Brookfield Zoo is $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Parking is $14 for cars and $20 for buses. (A Cook County parking tax is included.) For more information about Ape Awareness Weekend at Brookfield Zoo, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
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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 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is 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


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