An Old Friend and New Visitors

Last week I enjoyed spending some time with an old friend…on stage, in front of a live audience, which was a unique experience. Rich Kogan, host of Chicago Live!, invited me to the show to share my life’s experiences in zoos.

Lincoln Park Zoo President and CEO Kevin Bell on Chicago Live! with Rick Kogan

We touched on everything from my childhood at the Bronx Zoo to taking over at Lincoln Park Zoo. Rick even got me to talk about riding through the Bronx with Mike Wallace in his convertible. (You’ll have to listen to the podcast for the full story on that one.)

As the weather gets nicer, we’re seeing more people at the zoo. And with spring migration starting, we’re also spotting a lot of birds, especially at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

As you know, one of my favorite things to do is bird on the boardwalk. The urban ecosystem harbored everything from a least bittern to cedar waxwings and pied-billed grebes. Just today I heard that the first adult black-crowned night herons of the season—endangered in Illinois—have reappeared on the island.

It’s rewarding to see wildlife and people sharing this green space. I encourage you to come out and enjoy the pond views and native species. As you do, though, I have a request: if you visit with your dog, please use a leash to protect the birds and other animals that call the boardwalk home.

Dogs are wonderful, but even the best dog has trouble resisting the temptation to chase birds. Injuries and abandoned nests can result. You can help preserve Nature Boardwalk for everyone by following leash laws. Birds will benefit—and people too with the beautiful views.

Kevin Bell


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