News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

June 18, 2019


New Additions to Brookfield Zoo—Dwarf Mongoose Pups and Peafowl Chicks

Brookfield, Ill. – Those visiting Brookfield Zoo will be able to see dwarf mongoose pups as well as peafowl chicks.

Five dwarf mongoose pups were born on May 20 at Habitat Africa! The Savannah. It will be several weeks until the sexes of the pups can be determined. The pups can be seen playing, napping, and nursing from their mother, Aurora.

The dwarf mongoose is a small carnivore that is native to Africa found from Angola to Ethiopia and eastern South Africa. They tend to move from den to den searching for food, which is primarily insects and even small vertebrates.

They are very social animals and communicate with one another using a variety of vocalizations, including whistles and trills. The species lives in groups that include a dominant male and female. The female makes the decision when the group needs to move on and the male is the one who looks out for danger and protects the group’s territory.

In addition, seven common peafowl chicks hatched recently—two to Noel, four to Gouda, and one to Brie. They can be seen roaming the zoo grounds, primarily on the south side. Peafowl are members of the pheasant family. Males are called peacocks and females peahens. The males have the very impressive vibrant feathers on their train that are displayed during courtship. The females have mottled brown plumage that allows them to blend in with the environment while incubating eggs.

When she is ready to lay eggs, a peahen will make a small indentation in the ground and line it with sticks. She will sit on the nest for about four weeks. Once chicks hatch, they are able to walk and forage on their own. At about a month old, the chicks will grow crests and a month later, they begin to look like their mother in appearance but are only half her size. Male peafowl do not develop their adult coloring until their second year. Peafowl roost in trees at night to protect themselves from predators. Chicks are able to fly into a tree at about 2 weeks of age. There, they crowd on both sides of their mother, who covers them with her wings.

The common peafowl is found in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It is a protected species in India, where it is the national bird.

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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

Hi-Res Photos

2316: Peafowl chicks with mom Gouda at Brookfield Zoo.

2327: One of seven peafowl chicks born at Brookfield Zoo recently.

2337: Two of seven peafowl chicks born at Brookfield Zoo recently.

6053 and 6076: Five mongoose pups were born at Brookfield Zoo on May 20.


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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