News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
December 5, 2023

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New Children’s Book by Former Brookfield Zoo Visiting Veterinary Resident
Supports Global Pangolin Conservation

Brookfield, Ill. – Pao Pangolin is a new children’s book self-published by Eva Maria Dutitre, an Austrian zoo veterinarian who was inspired by her residency experience with pangolins at Brookfield Zoo. The book, available in hardcover and paperback, tells the story of an African pangolin named Pao who gets lost in the savannah and must find a way to survive as he is swept away by a human.

Pao Pangolin is packed full of emotion and demonstrates how even the smallest of creatures can be brave, while also educating young readers about the illegal wildlife trade and animals being threatened by extinction.

Pangolins are small, scaly mammals found in Africa and Asia. Due to demand for their scales and meat, pangolins have become one of the world’s most trafficked animals, with sources estimating up to 200,000 are taken from the wild illegally each year. The eight species of pangolins range from vulnerable to critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

The Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo is a founding member of the North American Pangolin Consortium, which works to increase the known biology, behavior, nutritional requirements, and reproductive physiology of Africa’s white-bellied pangolin in the wild and in zoo settings. Having pangolins at zoological institutions is an important step in increasing knowledge and improving conservation efforts. From this, Brookfield Zoo has established itself as a leader in pangolin care, producing one of the most successful programs for managing and supporting pangolins.

Through this book, Dutitre is funding pangolin conservation efforts, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the North American Pangolin Consortium, which also brings together zoological institutions and other not-for-profits to respond to pangolin conservation threats as well as helps support field research.

“I hope that through reading Pao Pangolin, readers, both adults and children, will be inspired to ask questions and learn more about this unique animal and the devastating impacts of illegal wildlife trade on animal populations,” said Dutitre. “The Chicago Zoological Society and the entire North American Pangolin Consortium are doing critical work to protect the remaining pangolin populations, and I’m proud to be able to support those efforts.”

Dutitre is a board-certified zoo veterinarian who specialized in conservation medicine at the University of Vienna and completed her residency at the Copenhagen Zoo. While she was on maternity leave, Dutitre was inspired to write this book when she realized how little the public knows about pangolins and conservation efforts. She now lives in the French Alps with her family and spends her spare time writing.

Pao Pangolin is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, and on-site at Brookfield Zoo (soft cover only). For more information on pangolins, visit,

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Eva Maria Dutitre
Pao Pangolin book cover

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