Articles

Summer Education Programs
It was a busy summer for the youth of Chicago at Lincoln Park Zoo as several programs were made to educate and engage young community members.

Field Note: Meerkat
Find out how meerkats use sentinel behavior protect themselves against fierce predators in the wilderness of southern Africa.

Field Note: Dwarf Mongoose
Africa's smallest carnivore is adapted for communal living. See how dwarf mongooses find food—and babysit younger members of the family—within months of birth.

Field Note: Green Tree Python
From changing colors after adolescence to dangling from tall trees to stalk prey, green tree pythons are fascinating reptiles!

New Sights of Summer
Waterfalls and gardens are just some of the many new features Lincoln Park Zoo has on display this season.

Pairing Up
Learn more about the unique breeding habits of lesser green broadbills and other animals at Lincoln Park Zoo.

All Adult
Zoo babies often attract the biggest crowds, but animals in their prime—including lions, black bears and De Brazza's monkeys—have plenty of interesting behaviors to share as well. 

Expert Care For Every Age
In a way, zoo veterinarians are quite similar to small town doctors—both are highly integrated into a small, tight-knit community. Learn more about their unique work here.

Fond Memories
Adelor, Keo, R1: we look back at a few of the many animals who live on in the memories of zoo visitors and staff alike. 

Find out how Lincoln Park Zoo calculates the life expectancy of some of the zoo's most beloved species.

How Long Do They Live?
Find out how Lincoln Park Zoo scientists calculate the life expectancy of some of the zoo's most beloved species.

 

Animal species aren't the only type the zoo specializes in - learn more about the beautiful flowers that live and grow at Lincoln Park Zoo.

From Seed to Sky
Animals aren't the only species living and growing at Lincoln Park Zoo. Meet the beautiful flowers and plants that enhance the zoo's natural wonders.

Three harbor seals share the water at the zoo's Kovler Sea Lion Pool.

Field Note: Harbor Seal
Meet the harbor seals that live in the zoo's Kovler Sea Lion Pool--and learn how this species socializes and hunts in the wild.

Join The Club
Leah Melber, Ph.D., senior director of the Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration, hopes to lead zoos and museums in finding new ways to connect with learners.

Tallying Social Ties
Learn how the Lincoln Park Zoo–developed app ZooMonitor is helping researchers further understand patterns of animal behavior on grounds.

Green Team: Garden Volunteers
Over 100 dedicated volunteers donate their time and effort in order to make the zoo home not only to wondrous animals but an eclectic display of beautiful flowers and plants as well.

Big brown bat

Returns from the Dark Night
Find out how zoo educators helped young researchers collect clues on winged predators that patrol the night skies above Chicago.

Spreadsheets For Daisies
Starting in 2010, Director of Horticulture Brian Houck and his team has documented over 800 plant species on zoo grounds. But, he wasn't the first to undertake this task—a record book from 1899 shows the same work.

The Bactrian camels at the Antelope & Zebra Area grow thick coats in winter...and naturally shed them again in spring.

Field Note: Bactrian Camel
Bactrian camels are naturally adapted to the frigid winters of the Gobi Desert...and Chicago's too. Learn about the social dynamics—and shedding habits—of this hairy herd.

Making Models
Disease outbreaks and habitat loss are only some of the issues population planners must factor into their work. Learn about Lisa Faust, Ph.D.'s reintroduction efforts here.

Calling On Care
The better Lincoln Park Zoo understands animal behavior, the better suited it will be to take care of its residents. Learn about methods used to study animals the zoo.

"Winter interest" is a factor in choosing the plants for the zoo's gardens

Zoo FAQ: What's Growing in the Gardens?
From choosing plants to dealing with winter, Director of Horticulture Brian Houck answers some deeply rooted questions.

Special "looky loo" mirrors are among the items used to enrich Lincoln Park Zoo's great apes.

Zoo FAQ: Do the Animals Get Bored?
For some species, napping the day away is entirely natural behavior…although new tools are increasing insight into wild well-being.

Fecal sample storage boxes at Lincoln Park Zoo's Davee Center for Endocrinology and Epidemiology

Zoo FAQ: Where Does All the Poop Go?
Not all of the poop produced by the zoo’s animals gets pitched. Fecal samples are also repurposed for hormonal analysis.

Guest Relations Volunteer Chris DuFour at Lincoln Park Zoo's Nature Boardwalk information kiosk

Welcoming Committee
Guest Relations Volunteers introduce millions of guests every year to all Lincoln Park Zoo has to offer. Learn more about these public-service multitaskers.

Guest Engagement Ambassador educating visitors at Lincoln Park Zoo mobile learning station

Who Answers the Questions?
Guest engagement leaders and ambassadors field FAQs from visitors and broaden the conversation beyond fun facts.

The biggest factor in Lincoln Park Zoo remaining free and open 365 days a year is your support!

Zoo FAQ: How Does the Zoo Stay Free?
Ever wondered how Lincoln Park Zoo stays free? Your support is the biggest factor, but we share all the details in our special Zoo FAQ feature.

Animal planning at Lincoln Park Zoo reflects a species life in the wild. Amur tigers, for instance, are naturally suited for solitary lifestyles, coming together only to breed.

Zoo FAQ: How Are the Animals Paired Up?
Gorillas prefer social groups, Amur tigers enjoy the solitary life, but every pairing is carefully planned by experts.

Partners in Fieldwork program at Lincoln Park Zoo

Schoolyard Species
Learn how the zoo’s Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration links Chicago high school students with research led by the zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute.

Moholi's bushbaby at Lincoln Park Zoo

What Happens After Hours?
Most animals end their day after the guests leave, hunkering down for a well-earned night of sleep. But what about the zoo’s nocturnal species? We shed light on the question.

Dwarf conifer at Lincoln Park Zoo

Sprucing Up
The zoo recently planted two dozen specialty dwarf conifers around the grounds, providing an extra dash of winter interest just as the holidays arrive.

Zoo interns share their summer experiences, from trapping turtles to planning the perfect wedding.

Zoo Summer Jobs 2013
Just in time to go back to school, zoo interns share their summer experiences, from trapping turtles to planning the perfect wedding.

Black-backed jackal

Scrapping for Scavengers
Regenstein African Journey lead keeper Jill Gossett researches black-backed jackals and brown hyenas in South Africa as part of an Earthwatch Institute expedition. She shares her experience in words and images.

By having chimpanzees trade tokens for treats, zoo scientists can study how the apes learn and respond to different rewards.

Great Ape Economics
By having chimpanzees trade tokens for treats, zoo scientists can study how the apes learn and respond to different rewards.

Kevin Bell places a bird in the water as Kovler Penguin-Seabird House opens in 1981. Bell, who came to Lincoln Park Zoo as curator of birds in 1976, has led Chicago's free zoo since 1993.

The Bell Curve
In this in-depth profile, President and CEO Kevin Bell reflects on his life in zoos—and his 20 years leading Lincoln Park Zoo.

Then And Now
Several zoo areas recently reached important milestones in their existence including the Helen Brach Primate House, Antelope & Zebra Area and Regenstein Small Mammal—Reptile House. See here what has changed over the years.

Look Into Learning
It is believed that over 90% of human communication is expressed nonverbally. Researchers at the zoo are curious to know the same for our cousins as they continue to study eye contact in African apes.

A Team Approach To Conservation
Several zoo researchers took to the Northern Cheyenne community in Montana to address free–roaming dogs as well as the black-footed ferret population.

Two Different Cultures, One Wild Focus
Learn how student collaboration from Chicago to Niger helped spark deeper understanding and conservation in communities across the globe.

Teachable Moments
Read about how zoo educators push students past their comfort zones by taking on the role of scientists at the zoo.

Before he grew into an imposing zoo icon, gorilla Bushman was once a baby cared for by Winifred Hope Smith in Cameroon.

Last Visit
Before he grew into a zoo icon, gorilla Bushman was once a baby cared for by Winifred Hope Smith in Cameroon. Learn about Winifred’s life with Bushman—and her last visit to Lincoln Park Zoo.

The rich social interactions of Japanese macaques will be at the heart of Lincoln Park Zoo's next great exhibit, Regenstein Macaque Forest.

The zoo's next great exhibit will be a state-of-the-art home for Japanese macaques, or “snow monkeys.” These lively primates will thrill visitors with rich social displays among hot springs and evergreen trees.

One of the ornate box turtles reared at the zoo is held before its release at Lost Mound Sand Prairie near Savanna, Illinois. Photo by Sharon Dewar.

A Healthy Head Start
After a year of growth behind the scenes, 18 ornate box turtles were reintroduced to wild homes in Illinois. Learn how zoo experts are boosting the recovery of this threatened species.

Urban Wildlife Institute scientists share how far different animals venture into the city in this infographic produced for Lincoln Park Zoo magazine!

The Wildlife Next Door
Will you see a coyote in your backyard? How about a red fox? Urban Wildlife Institute scientists share how far different animals venture into the city in this infographic produced for Lincoln Park Zoo magazine! (3.2 MB JPG)

Deer, coyotes, opossums—when are urban animals active around Chicago? Urban Wildlife Institute scientists tell us in this special infographic produced for Lincoln Park Zoo magazine!

Visualizing Animal Activity Around the Clock
Deer, coyotes, opossums—when are urban animals active around Chicago? Urban Wildlife Institute scientists tell us in this special infographic produced for Lincoln Park Zoo magazine! (4.8 MB JPG)

Monkey Island
Helen Brach Primate House assistant lead keeper Anita Yantz journeys to Bioko, an ecologically unique island off the west coast of Africa, to take part in a primate-census expedition.

A Century of Big Cats
Kovler Lion House opened on October 27, 1912. A hundred years later, lions and tigers are still among the animals that greet visitors from the building despite several remodling projects.

Deeply Rooted
Around Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo is known as an urban oasis—an area of the city thriving on horticulture and recreation. Here we examine how this aspect has been rooted in visions since the mid-19th century.

Ape Crusaders
Born in 1970, gorilla Kumba got the momentum started for what has turned into a thriving gorilla scene at Lincoln Park Zoo. Today, both a silverback and bachelor group exist on Lincoln Park Zoo grounds.

Leading The Lab
Read about Lisa Faust's journey from an intern in the attic to traveling the world as current vice president of Conservation & Science at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Ready For Release
Zoo reintroductions span an impressive variety of species from ornate box turtles and trumpeter swans to red wolves and smooth green snakes. Read more about Lincoln Park Zoo's work here.

Type Casting
A blood-type database for great apes now provides animal care givers and vets worldwide with a valuable resource, thanks to a compassionate response to the loss of a gorilla at the zoo in 2005.

Takin Pregnancy Test
Hormone analysis, research and scientific collaboration contributed to the successful births of two male takins.

Bon Voyage, Bill
The zoo’s longest-serving keeper hangs up his uniform after 37 years and reflects on a lifetime of caring for animals.

Urban Wildlife Institute researcher Julia Kilgour checks the acoustic bat-monitoring system in the field.

Listening to the Skies
Bats are hard to spot, so zoo scientists listen to the skies to monitor populations in the Chicago area. Urban Wildlife Institute scientist Julia Kilgour shares all the details—including how you can help!

Bat Attitude
Creepy? Hardly. Bats benefit ecologies and economies. We set the record straight with a closer look at the zoo’s sweet-toothed Egyptian fruit bats.

Special scholarships let kids from Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood attend summer Conservation Camp.

Zoo Scholarships for El Valor Campers
Special scholarships let 4- and 5-year-olds from Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood attend a free week of summer Conservation Camp. Fun animal encounters laid the foundation for a lifelong appreciation for nature.

Lemon Aid
A young feline fan puts a new twist on seed money for wildlife conservation.

Field Note: Sichuan Takin
We profile this unique goat-antelope species as the zoo’s own herd grows at the Antelope & Zebra Area.

365 Days of Care
87 full-time workers are responsible for providing the best care possible for the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. Learn more about their excellent care here.

An Ounce Of Prevention
Did you know? Zoo veterinarians spend over 70 percent of their time on preventative care. We delve into the details of their work in this article.

Living In Numbers
Many animals at Lincoln Park Zoo have special adaptations that allow them to thrive in large groups. We discuss some of them in detail here.

Burning Love

A Moving Tale of Burning Love
Sometimes putting down roots in a new home is all it takes to make a plant happy.

Lincoln Park Zoo visitors can learn fun facts about animals with daily hands-on encounters with wildlife.

Meet an Animal
The daily Meet an Animal activity lets zoo visitors learn fun facts while touching the rough plates of a La Plata three-banded armadillo or other ambassador animals.

Juvenile gorilla Azizi

A Gorilla Bachelor Party
Lincoln Park Zoo is ready to welcome an all-male gorilla bachelor group this summer--the latest milestone in a historic legacy of care for the species.

Chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo's Goualougo Triangle

Protecting a Refuge for Great Apes
By adding the Goualougo Triangle to the national park system, the Republic of Congo has ensured this pristine landscape will remain untouched. As a result, zoo researchers will continue to make groundbreaking discoveries about wild chimpanzees and gorillas for decades to come.

Waiting Out Winter
Temperatures don't vary in their habitat in the Pritzker Family Children's Zoo, but wild American toads burrow down beneath the frost line to wait out winter.

Eastern massasauga rattlesnake

Massasaugas Take the Season Off
A winter cool down behind the scenes at Regenstein Small Mammal–Reptile House primes endangered eastern massasauga rattlesnakes for spring breeding.

A Big Chill
Animals in the wild hibernate in response to winter’s lack of food, shorter days and colder temps.

Creepy Critters—Dyeing Poison Arrow Frogs
Toxic skin protects dyeing poison arrow frogs against predators, but they remain vulnerable to the amphibian crisis threatening frogs across the globe.

Celebrating Seniors—Guam Micronesian Kingfishers
We close our month of Celebrating Seniors by looking at the zoo’s Guam Micronesian kingfishers. They may not be geriatric, but these endangered birds have 52 grandkids between them!

Change at Kovler Penguin-Seabird House
After 30 years, the Kovler Penguin-Seabird House permanently closed December 5. While we’ll miss the birds as they move to new homes in accredited zoos and aquariums, Lincoln Park Zoo looks forward to preparing our next great exhibit.

Snake Signals
Six more smooth green snakes return to the wild! By equipping the reptiles with tiny transmitters, scientists will track them as they establish homes in the Lake County Forest Preserve District.  

Road to Recovery
Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lake County Forest Preserve District reintroduce the first smooth green snakes to the local ecosystem.
Dr. Fisher Turns 90
Guests and gorillas were on hand to wish a happy birthday to Lincoln Park Zoo legend Dr. Lester E. Fisher. See the fun—including piñata “cake” and “presents” for the animal attendees.
Protecting People, Pets and Predators
It's vaccination season in the Serengeti, with benefits for the entire African ecosystem.

Leaving a Legacy
Heritage Society members enjoy an inside look at the zoo they've planned to preserve.
Update from the Arctic
Lead Keeper Anthony Nielsen shares digging up permafrost in the Arctic to study climate change, a trip made possible by the Feay Earthwatch Grant.
Field Ready
In Africa, there’s no shortage of plans to conserve the continent’s wildlife. Park managers, field researchers and government committees are all adept at developing ideas to save African wild dogs or encourage the growth of the black rhinoceros population.
Conserving the Congo
Getting to the Goualougo Triangle, the isolated field-research site of Lincoln Park Zoo Research Fellow David Morgan, Ph.D., involves the kind of journey that would be at home in an old adventure serial.
Census in the Caribbean: Preserving the Puerto Rican Parrot
The only U.S. parrot, and one of the first species protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Puerto Rican parrot saw its numbers decline in parallel with the island’s development.
Protecting Primates
When not caring for the chimpanzees and gorillas in Regenstein Center for African Apes, Keeper Jill Moyse spends her time arranging aid for primates in sanctuaries across Africa.
Seasoned Support
38 years of membership reflects Eric and Barb Youngquist’s commitment to keeping Lincoln Park Zoo free and open to all.
Carlyn & Irving Ungar
Members like the Ungars personify the zoo’s longstanding role in the lives of generations of Chicagoans.
Animals at Play
Balls, bubbles, barrels & bear hugs!
Red Wolf Travel Journal
Follow the journal of Veterinarian Owen Slater, D.V.M., as he and Curator Diane Mulkerin travel to North Carolina to reintroduce four red wolf pups to wild dens.