News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
October 19, 2023

Note: Scroll to end of press release to download photos.

Brookfield Zoo Unveils Stunning Photo Gallery Showcasing
Punta San Juan Conservation Success
Images featured in Book by Renowned Peruvian Photographer

Brookfield, Ill. – Brookfield Zoo is thrilled to announce the installation of a captivating photo gallery on the exterior wall of The Living Coast, featuring 32 mesmerizing images that highlight the remarkable landscapes and animals of the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area in Peru, South America. These larger-than-life images are a visual testament to the tireless efforts put forth by many international organizations, including Brookfield Zoo, to protect and preserve the delicate ecosystems of Punta San Juan.

Renowned Peruvian photographer, Bernardo Sambra, has skillfully captured the beauty and significance of the many marine species found in Punta San Juan, including endangered Humboldt penguins, Peruvian fur seals, South American sea lions, and a variety of seabirds and underwater life. His artistic lens portrays the incredible conservation story that has unfolded in this remote region. Sambra’s breathtaking work is now not only showcased on The Living Coast building, but also compiled into a captivating coffee-table book, available for purchase at Brookfield Zoo’s gift shop. This book offers guests the chance to take home a piece of the conservation success story and immerse themselves in the stunning visuals that convey the intricate balance of life in Punta San Juan.

Dr. Michael Adkesson, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and director of Brookfield Zoo, had the privilege of writing the book’s forward. For over 15 years, Dr. Adkesson, who has a background in zoo and wildlife veterinary medicine, has worked with colleagues from around the world to lead programs aimed at evaluating the health of wildlife populations at Punta San Juan. His love for the reserve is evident in the forward, in which he writes, “The reserve is an ecological paradox, an explosion of coastal marine wildlife that takes your breath away, in the middle of the desolate southern Peruvian desert.” He concludes with, “The Chicago Zoological Society and Brookfield Zoo, along with our partners, are proud of the impact we have made in the conservation of one of Peru’s most treasured places, Punta San Juan.”

Brookfield Zoo’s commitment to conservation and environmental preservation has been exemplified through its strong partnership with the Punta San Juan Project, led by Peruvian marine biologist Dr. Susana C├írdenas-Alayza. By supporting the project’s mission to deepen the understanding of marine-coastal ecosystems within the Humboldt Current in Peru, the Zoo has played an instrumental role in promoting the conservation of biodiversity on both local and global scales.

At the heart of the Punta San Juan project lies the fundamental goal of producing scientific knowledge that will contribute to the creation of tools for the effective management and conservation of a thriving marine protected area. Through collaborative efforts and dedicated research, the project aims to ensure the long-term viability of these invaluable ecosystems while fostering a sense of responsibility for the environment among local communities and the global population.

The unveiling of the Punta San Juan photo gallery marks another significant step in Brookfield Zoo’s ongoing commitment to environmental education and conservation. Guests to the Zoo will now have the opportunity to witness the breathtaking beauty of Punta San Juan’s diverse species and landscapes, reinforcing the importance of preserving our planet’s natural wonders for generations to come.

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Photo Captions
07: A photo gallery of 32 stunning images that highlight the remarkable landscapes and wildlife at the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area in Peru, South America, can be seen on the exterior wall of Brookfield Zoo’s Living Coast habitat. (credit: CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
12: Punta San Juan: a conservation story, a coffee-table book by Peruvian photographer Bernardo Sambra, showcases the incredible conservation story at Punta San Juan, a reserve in Peru, South America. The book is available for purchase at Brookfield Zoo’s gift shops or on its website at (credit: CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
003, 008, 011, 025, 064, and 071: Photos featured on the exterior wall of Brookfield Zoo’s Living Coast habitat and in the book, Punta San Juan: a conservation story. (credit: Bernardo Sambra)


About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people to 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. 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