Saving Little Fire Faces

Darkness lies all around Lincoln Park Zoo keeper Bryan Summerford as he crouches in the fragmented forests of West Java, Indonesia, surprisingly nestled up next to coffee and other agriculture fields. Armed with a red flashlight, notebook, and camera, he waits. In a flash, the species he seeks darts across the bamboo thicke—as critically endangered slow lorises are anything but slow. The group of researchers he’s with takes note of the tracking device around the loris’ neck, part of a concerted effort to monitor and conserve these bug-eyed beauties.

Surprising Science

Lincoln Park Zoo scientists labor year-round on research projects designed to help humans learn more about animals in many different contexts. This type of work allows the zoo to better care for the individuals that reside here. Visitors don’t necessarily see all the effort that staff put into projects like these—but can often see the results. For the animals in our care, this translates into more dynamic living spaces, improved enrichment, and actions that make life better, safer, and more natural. For animals in the wild, this leads to improved understanding and better conservation strategies and outcomes.

From Zoo Teen to Team Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo’s teen programs allow students in Grades 8-12 to participate in conservation activities, learn about future careers, and gain experience in fields like education and research. Participating teens also become part of the zoo family, which gives them access to mentors, peers who share their interests, and a network to support them in the future. For example, alumni return to the zoo each year for a reunion. Alums also assist with recruitment and planning, are invited back as speakers, can opt-in to receive updates (including job postings and animal updates) from the zoo, and receive memberships. And, as evidenced by a couple of the teen alums profiled here, they may even someday become full-time zoo staff!

Higher Ground

Did you know that Lincoln Park Zoo has 18 green roofs, scattered across its grounds? They aren’t meant to beautify the grounds, as they’re in hard-to-reach behind-the-scenes spaces, but they provide valuable services for the zoo and the city of Chicago.

Wild File Fall/Winter 2022

News Briefs from Lincoln Park Zoo

Accreditation: The Gold Standard

Picture Perfect: Setting Standards for Animal Imagery

Enterprises in Enrichment

Enrichment is a vital part of animal care and has been for decades. It’s a way of encouraging animals to use their senses and natural instincts so that they act in species-specific ways.

The World Beneath Your Feet

It’s the whole other world happening above your head and below your feet. Whether or not you’ve paid attention, the historic trees across zoo grounds are an integral part of what makes this park an oasis in the middle of the city.

A Global Expansion

The world’s largest urban wildlife monitoring alliance, known as the Urban Wildlife Information Network, has now expanded to 42 cities across three continents—working to help people and wildlife coexist in urban areas.