BROOKFIELD – Brookfield Zoo has closed all of its facilities, both grounds and buildings, through April 30. The zoo initially had kept its grounds open to the public.

In an effort to maintain some normalcy, animal care staff kept up an annual tradition, a news release stated.

On St. Patrick’s Day, they presented several animals with shamrock-shaped treats. Quilbert, a prehensile-tailed porcupine; Norman, a Cape porcupine; and William, a wallaby, received nutritious shamrock-shaped treats made of a biscuit chow, water, unflavored gelatin and green food coloring.

The zoo’s pinnipeds gave their seal of approval when given green-colored ice and sugar-free gelatin shaped like shamrocks. The gray seals – Peanut, Celia and Lily – and the California sea lions – Josephine, Charger, Carolyn, Sabiena and Lucy – all seemed to enjoy their St. Patrick’s Day enrichment items, the release stated.

The dwarf Nigerian goats also received the shamrock-shaped biscuit treats and some green leaves as part of the zoo’s browse program. ComEd delivers twigs and branches from trees that its crews cut along power lines to the zoo from spring through early fall. Staff in the zoo’s nutrition department vacuum seal and freeze them, which also preserves the nutritional value. This allows the animals to enjoy the leafy greens, twigs and branches during the winter months.

During Brookfield Zoo’s closure, essential animal care specialists and veterinary staff will continue providing animals with care. In addition, a small crew of the zoo’s plant and facilities staff will be on site to service buildings and equipment. All other staff members are being asked to work remotely.

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, according to the release. 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 the American Humane Association’s certification standards.

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