News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
February 24, 2021                                    
NOTE: Download photos located at bottom of press release.

New Polar Bear and Mexican Wolf Pack Await Guests when Brookfield Zoo Reopens March 1
Dinosaurs Everywhere! also Back for Limited Time

 Brookfield, Ill.—While Brookfield Zoo has been temporarily closed due to the pandemic, staff welcomed a new addition—Hope, a 5-year-old female polar bear—and the timing couldn’t have been better for this cold-hardy marine mammal. Since her January 29 arrival, Hope has been enjoying the wintry weather that has descended upon the Chicago area. When the zoo reopens March 1, guests will be able to see her in one of the outdoor habitats at Great Bear Wilderness.

Hope will eventually be introduced to Hudson, Brookfield Zoo’s 14-year-old male polar bear. The introduction is expected to take place over several weeks. It is anticipated the two bears will be together by mid-March.
Hope’s transfer to Brookfield Zoo from Hogle's Utah Zoo was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited North American zoos and aquariums. Each plan manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Nan, the female polar bear who was most recently at Brookfield Zoo, was recently transferred to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota, also based on an SSP recommendation.
Polar bears are currently listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main threat of the species’ decline is due to reduced access to their main source of food—seal—due to climate change melting the sea ice and other environmental factors. According to researchers, there are approximately 23,000-26,000 polar bears living worldwide today, including in and around Canada, Russian, and east Greenland.
Other new faces that guests will see when they visit Brookfield Zoo are two female Mexican wolves—Sibi (pronounced see-bee) and her nearly 2-year-old daughter Lorena. Since their arrival from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro, New Mexico, they have been getting acclimated to their new home at the Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat.

On March 1, guests also will be able to see the zoo's other animals that have access to outdoor habitats, including the grey seals, California sea lions, bison, Amur and snow leopards, Bactrian camels, bald eagles, and Brutus and Titus, the zoo's African lions who celebrated their 5th birthdays on February 24. Additionally, the zoo's popular Dinosaurs Everywhere! exhibit returns for a limited time through September 6. A few surprises will be featured on some of the 40 animatronic dinosaurs to make them even more lifelife. Located throughout the 216-acre park, zoogoers will be able to see their favorite dinosaurs, including the Argentinosaurus that measures 110 feet in length and stands three-stories tall on the zoo's West Mall.

Upon reopening, health and safety protocols that were previously in place will continue, including:

  • - To ensure social distancing, guest capacity will be limited and advance admission and parking tickets are required. Reservation times are available in 20-minute increments. Tickets must be reserved at Both guests and zoo members must secure all admission and parking tickets prior to arriving.

- To minimize person-to-person contact, the zoo will remain a cashless environment—only credit card transactions will be accepted for purchasing food and merchandise.

- All guests ages 2 and over must wear face coverings when entering the zoo. Once inside, face coverings should be worn if not able to maintain a social distance of at least six feet from staff and guests who are not members of the same family. This includes when making transactions and while inside restrooms.

- Before arriving at the zoo, guests are encouraged to visit to review the safety protocols as well to get updates on what animal habitats and other amenities are open.

Admission is $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for children ages 3-11, and $19.95 for senior 65 and over. Parking is $15. All tickets are nonrefundable.

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Photo Cations (credit: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo)

0218, 0341, 0347, 0373, 0375: Hope, a 5-year-old polar bear recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo. She will eventually be paired with Hudson, the zoo’s 14-year-old male polar bear.
8757: Sibi, a Mexican wolf, recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo.
8998 and 9202: Sibi and Lorena, two Mexican wolves, recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo. Guests will be able to see them at the zoo’s Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat.
9302: Lorena, a 2-year-old Mexican wolf at Brookfield Zoo.
9758: Brutus and Titus, Brookfield Zoo’s African lions, celebrated their 5th birthdays today, February 24.
9777: Titus, one of Brookfield Zoo’s African lions, gets ready to enjoy some special treats animal care staff prepared for him and his brother, Brutus, on their 5th birthday today, February 24.

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. 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, and 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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