News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
September 20, 2022
NOTE: Scroll to end of press release to download photos.

Chicago Zoological Society Announces 2022 Photo Contest Winners

Brookfield, Ill. — More than 700 photos featuring lions, capybaras, butterflies, snakes, penguins, and so many more animals were entered in the Chicago Zoological Society’s 2022 Photo Contest.

A panel of professional photographers judged the photos and selected their top seven choices in the following categories: mammal, bird, and reptile/amphibian/invertebrate/fish. Additionally, they chose their top five picks from all submitted entries to be considered for the grand prize. Then, the public was asked to vote for their favorites in each of the categories. Over 6,000 votes were cast to determine this year’s winners, which can be seen on the zoo’s website at

Hayley Pendergast of Plainfield, won the grand prize—a Brookfield Zoo Family Plus Membership; a Penguin Encounter for two people; an original painting by Leo, the zoo’s red panda; and a $100 worth of gift certificates that can be used in any of the zoo’s restaurants or gift shops.

Winners in the mammal category are Luke Ciancio of Lake Barrington, first place; Mark Holzman of Hoffman Estates, second place; and Steven Tabor of Lyons, third place.

Winners in the bird category are Nathan Keck of Ottawa, first place; Makenzie Wheat of Chicago, second place; and Joseph Andalina of Naperville, third place.

Winners in the reptile/invertebrate/amphibian/fish category are Tricia Rangel of Naperville, first place; Robert Bator of Chicago, second place; and Nicholas McCarney of Sycamore, third place.

In addition to being displayed on the zoo’s website, winning photos can also be seen on monitors located at the zoo’s Hamill Family Nature Plaza, BZ Red Hots, Café del Sol, and Discovery Center through at least October 31, 2022.

Many of the photos entered in this year’s contest will also be featured in a photo mosaic that guests can see at the Café de Sol Plaza beginning this fall. The beautiful image, featuring Whirl, the zoo’s Amur tiger, is 9.5 feet high by 19.5 feet wide and was created using 26,676 1-inch by 1-inch photos.

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 Photos (credit winners)
Grand Prize: Hayley Pendergast of Plainfield
Mammal Category 1st Place: Luke Ciancio of Lake Barrington
Mammal Category 2nd Place: Mark Holzman of Hoffman Estates
Mammal Category 3rd Place: Steven Tabor of Lyons
Bird Category 1st Place: Nathan Keck of Ottawa
Bird Category 2nd Place: Makenzie Wheat of Chicago
Bird Category 3rd Place: Joseph Andalina of Naperville
Reptile/Invertebrate/Amphibian/Fish category 1st Place: Tricia Rangel of Naperville
Reptile/Invertebrate/Amphibian/Fish category 2nd Place: Robert Bator of Chicago
Reptile/Invertebrate/Amphibian/Fish category 3rd Place: Nicholas McCarney of Sycamore 

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
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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