Penguin News & Stamp Support

You may have heard news that Lincoln Park Zoo is closing the Kovler Penguin-Seabird House. I'd like to provide you my perspective. The creation of this house was my first major exhibit project at the zoo 30 years ago when I was curator of birds. While it is hard to believe 30 years have passed so quickly, I can honestly say I’m just as excited today about our plans for creating the next great state-of-the-art animal habitat in that space as I was several decades ago when we laid the groundwork for the penguin house. Today we are working to set the path for the next couple decades ahead. We are fleshing out a lot of great ideas and concepts that I think will excite our members and supporters. Lincoln Park Zoo has exciting plans ahead.

In other news, on Tuesday morning within the Kovler Lion House I was happy to participate in the introduction of a new postal stamp—the Saving Vanishing Species stamp.

The new release features a stylized image of a tiger, which explains why we were in front of our Amur tiger exhibit. Net proceeds are dedicated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds. I’ve purchased a book of Saving Vanishing Species stamps, which cost $11 for 20 and are available for sale at Post Offices and at the zoo’s Wild Things gift shop. I hope you consider doing so, too. (I’d love to receive a letter with a tiger image in the corner. Kevin Bell, 2001 N. Clark, Chicago IL 60614.)

Hobbyists are sure to snatch up these handsome collectibles. But these stamps also provide any animal-lover a convenient, fun way to support efforts to save threatened species, such as the Amur tiger.

We participate in a broad range of conservation initiatives at Lincoln Park Zoo. Our scientists work here in Chicago and around the world to combat threats to wild species. Our educators communicate our message to millions of visitors. Our members help fund all of these efforts. And the act of exhibiting animals plays a huge role—seeing a tiger or a chimpanzee in the flesh reminds all of us of our duty to preserve the world’s wildlife.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.
Kevin Bell 


Penguin and seabird house

If Lincoln Park Zoo is closing an attraction such as the Penguin-Seabird House, I'd like to know why. I still come to the zoo once or twice a year; I always stop there, and many parents and kids do, too. What factors led you to the decision to eliminate that group? What does Lincoln Park Zoo propose to replace it?

I love the zoo; I'd like to believe that the people responsible for such decisions have enough faith in the interests of members to keep them informed. I hardly believe that a well-reasoned decision will incite much blowback from zoo patrons.

Changes at Kovler Penguin-Seabird House

Diana, we've published an article outlining the rationale behind the change as well as our plan to build the zoo's next great exhibit there. It should answer some of your questions, even if we're still developing plans for the site.

Penguin House

Uncharacteristically, the President's blog reads like a "Netflix" apology -- it starts out right and explains nothing. Penguins are very popular and your loyal Zoo-fans want to know WHY now is the need immediate to close this facility without a definite plan and timeline to replace it. Can't it remain opening until funding and a timeline for the new penguin facility are known?

Addressing your concerns, Michael

You should be able to find more explanations in the article we recently published outlining the rationale behind the change as well as our plan to build the zoo's next great exhibit there. It should answer some of your questions, even if we're still developing plans for the site.

Thank you, but...

I appreciate you pointing to the article, but unless the fear is that the equiptment may fail in the next year, it still is unclear to me why the exhibit can't remain open until funds for a replacement exhibit are in place and a building schedule ready.


Why won't you answer Diana's question "why?" No I'm suspicious too?

All decisions at Lincoln Park

All decisions at Lincoln Park Zoo are made with the best interests of the animals in mind. Change is ongoing—necessary to keep this facility a world leader among zoos. We all understand your concerns, but remind you that updates will always be a part of life at Lincoln Park Zoo. New facilities cannot be possible without changes to the old.


If you read the President Bell's written explanation carefully I believe the reason is fairly clear:
"In closing the building, the birds’ welfare is obviously a top concern. The best time to move these species is during cooler winter months. Knowing it will take some time to find homes for all the animals, it’s prudent to start the process of moving animals to other institutions sooner rather than later."

The months to move the animal's is limited and they need to find homes for all the birds which could take some time. The zoo is trying to make a better home for the animals which we be happy is happening for the animals welfare.

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