For Members of Lincoln Park Zoo • A Magazine of Conservation and Education • Summer 2011
Swing into Summer
A Season of Fun at Lincoln Park Zoo
1 Perspective Zoo President and CEO Kevin J.
iN THiS iSSUE Bell shares his favorite sights of summer.
Volume 11 Number 1 • For Members of Lincoln Park Zoo
17 The Wild File
Icy enrichment, sunny sightings and new neigh-
bors for lovebirds.
18 News of the Zoo
Announcing a new general curator and kicking
off a summer of learning and fun.
20 Your Story
Visitors share their favorite summer memories.
The unveiling of Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln
Park Zoo highlights an amazing year of wildlife
2 Swing into Summer
Swinging gibbons, lynx on the prowl—this
overview of what’s new at the zoo will help you
make the most of your summer visits.
4 Learn in a Living Classroom
Looking to track turtles at Nature Boardwalk or
feed the cows at the Farm? See the full slate of daily
Continue Your Visit online
Visit www.lpzoo.org for Lincoln Park Zoo
6 Amazing Adaptations: Living Underwater
From polar bears to playful otters, this special tour
photos, videos and up-to-date info on events
and animals. You can also find us on Facebook
will highlight what to see beneath the surface. and Twitter!
We’d Like to Hear from You!
8 Brick-and-Mortar History
Enjoy an insider’s view of the zoo’s architecture,
Send your feedback on this issue
of Lincoln Park Zoo magazine to
from landmark buildings to family favorites. email@example.com. Membership Department.
Staff are on hand during
Cover photo: Mother and normal business hours—
10 Elder Statesmen
Drop in on the zoo’s geriatric animals and see how
offspring Hoffman’s two-toed
sloths. Above: Red kangaroo
or visit us online at
and cotton-top tamarin. www.lpzoo.org.
special care extends healthy lives.
LINCoLN ParK Zoo MagaZINe
12 Amazing Adaptations: Tall Tails
A special overview of the zoo’s tails, from prehensile
President and CEO
Kevin J. Bell
Art Director Staff Writer
helpers to sheddable decoys. Peggy Martin Chris McNamara
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614,
14 Zoo in Bloom
Director of Horticulture Brian Houck guides us to
312-742-2000, www.lpzoo.org. Lincoln Park Zoo is supported
through a public/private partnership between the Chicago Park
District and The Lincoln Park Zoological Society. The only pri-
the most spectacular views on zoo grounds. vately managed free zoo in the country, Lincoln Park Zoo relies
on membership, individual, foundation and corporate support as
well as earned revenue.
16 Zoo in View
From conservation status to continent of origin, see
a visual breakdown of the zoo’s world of wildlife.
perspective A Letter From President and CEO Kevin J. Bell
Swing into Summer
Every season is special at Lincoln Park Zoo. Fall has white-lipped deer rustling through the leaves.
Winter sees Amur tigers perching on snow-covered logs. Spring brings breeding plumage and nest
building to the McCormick Bird House.
But summer is the busiest season of all. The excitement isn’t limited to visitors who flock to the zoo
for day camps and summer outings, family picnics and afternoon jogs. It’s also visible in lesser green
broadbills breaking out of their shells or a baby gibbon starting to swing through its exhibit on its own.
Every day at Chicago’s zoo offers something new to experience. I can trade the latest sightings with
my fellow birders at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo before taking in a pondside meal at the Patio
at Café Brauer. I’m able to drop in on daily chats to hear about scientists tracking painted turtles or keep-
ers doing daily check-ups with our apes. And after every long winter it’s a relief to witness the gardens
bursting into bloom and watch the warthog return to his mud wallow.
Those are some of my favorite sights of summer. You surely have your own. But whether you enjoy watching the polar bear dive
through the water or seeing red kangaroos leap through the air, this summer guide will help you make the most of each visit.
So come to Lincoln Park Zoo. Enjoy the excitement of the season. As you do so, keep in mind that everything you see is
possible only with your support. As you enjoy the crowds, the animals, the gardens, you should also enjoy our appreciation for
everything you do for the zoo.
Members and donors are the ones who keep Lincoln Park Zoo free and open in every season. We appreciate your commitment,
as do all the visitors taking part in summer fun.
Thank you for your support—and enjoy a wild summer!
Kevin J. Bell
President and CEO
SUMMER 2011 1
t’s summer at Lincoln Park Zoo. Gorillas gather a green
buffet outside Regenstein Center for African Apes.
Friends grab a meal of their own at the Patio at Café
Brauer. Dragonflies sweep the water at Nature Boardwalk at
Lincoln Park Zoo as prairie plants bloom along the shore.
There’s always something to see—and something for
everyone. Hit these highlights to make the most of your
Born in January, our juvenile white-cheeked gibbon
spent most of spring swinging through the treetops with
mom. But with maturity comes independence, and the
young ape is now eager to explore on his own.
Having mastered the ropes and vines at the Helen
Brach Primate House, Sai (“son” in Burmese) is working
on the acrobatic arm-over-arm swings that define his
species. He’s also found a ready playmate in dad Caruso,
who enjoys tickling matches with the youngster.
Summer weather often finds the gibbons outdoors,
where guests can see the little one soaking up the world
around him. “Sun and shade, wind, noises—he’s exploring
everything,” says Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy.
Swing into Summer
What’s New at Lincoln Park Zoo
BY jAMES SEidLER
Lynx on the Prowl
New paws are on the prowl at the Kovler Lion
House, where two Eurasian lynx have taken up res-
idence at the southwest end. Strong climbers, these
2-year-old siblings—both female—often inhabit
the upper reaches of their exhibit.
The largest lynx species, Eurasian lynx used to
roam widely across Europe and Asia but now pri-
marily inhabit remaining forests and mountainous
terrain. In the wild they prey primarily on small
mammals and the occasional bird, but here the
carnivores receive a balanced meat diet, with
the occasional rib for enrichment.
“They’re younger, so they’re very
energetic,” says Zoological Manager
Mark Kamhout. “They love playing
with enrichment—paper mache, food
items in a bag—they just rip it apart.”
Left: The juvenile white-cheeked gibbon is
growing quickly at the Helen Brach
Primate House. Right: Two Eurasian lynx
are on the prowl at the Kovler Lion House,
and visitors are enjoying summer fun at
the Patio at Café Brauer.
Still Hanging on
Born in February, the juvenile Hoffman’s two-toed sloth is still
hitching a ride with mom at Regenstein Small Mammal–Reptile
House. This rate of development isn’t particularly slow for the poky
species. Infant sloths typically spend at least six months clinging to
mom before making their own deliberate way into the world.
Visitors do have a better chance of spotting the little one now
that it’s grown. Mom and baby can typically be seen in the
Ecosystem, on a shelf under the thatched hut. There they both
snooze and share a solid diet of fruits and leaves.
Birds Bursting out of Their Shells—and into Song
Summer at the McCormick Bird House is filled with new calls and
new arrivals. Nests of all shapes and sizes yield chicks. Guests can hear
hatchlings squawk for food—and watch winged parents hustle to
keep hungry mouths well fed (with an assist from Animal Care staff,
Green woodhoopoe chicks were the first arrival of the year,
breaking out in January. They’ve been joined by a lesser green
broadbill and sunbittern, contributing to a Bird House that’s
always lively…and always worth visiting.
Park Yourself at the Patio
Looking for a perfect oasis on the way home from work? Stop
for a drink at the Patio at Café Brauer. Enjoy a rich menu—and a
relaxing view of wildlife on display at Nature Boardwalk at
Lincoln Park Zoo.
The first full spring at Nature Boardwalk inspired plenty of
local wildlife to make their own visits to the urban oasis. Eastern
phoebes, fox sparrows, golden-crowned kinglets and yellow-
rumped warblers all passed through during migration. Black-
crowned night herons, endangered in Illinois, have returned to
raise chicks at their pond refuge. And the painted turtles intro-
duced last fall have resurfaced after a winter’s hibernation—a
visible sign of the site’s renewal.
More for Members
Members will enjoy an exclusive look at the zoo as it comes to life
with our first-ever Members-Only Morning, taking place August
13. From 8–10 a.m., the zoo’s north end will be open only to mem-
bers for this free event. See how animals start their day, view
enrichment exercises and discover how we encourage natural
behaviors. You’ll also learn about zoo nutrition, enjoy fun family
activities and receive firsthand updates from zoo scientists. It’s
appropriate for all ages!
See Our Latest Arrivals
Keep track of new animals as they arrive at
the zoo. Visit www.lpzoo.org/magazine for
real-time updates on the latest births and hatches.
SUMMER 2011 3
Learn in a Living Classroom
How do seals cooperate in their own care? How do scientists follow painted turtles through the water at Nature
Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo? Which wildlife is making its way through your backyard?
Answers to these questions and more can be found in the zoo’s daily chats. Guest Engagement Leaders
stationed throughout the zoo are ready to answer questions and translate animal encounters into larger lessons on
conservation and care.
10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. 1:30 p.m.
Daily Activities Seal Training and Feeding great ape Training Session
Kovler Sea Lion Pool regenstein Center for african apes
10 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Looking to connect to the aquatic Join us at Regenstein Center for African
world? Watch keepers as they train and Apes for a window into the world of
care for the zoo’s gray seals. animal care.
by John Deere
See how a typical family farm combines 11 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
rural life with modern technology to Meet an animal Neighborhood Wildlife
milk its Holstein dairy cows. regenstein Small Mammal-reptile Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
House Birds, bunnies and more: discover which
10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
From nose to tail, scales to fur, the zoo’s animals share your urban environment
Feed the Cows
ambassador animals connect you to the and get an inside look at how the zoo
natural world. learns from our animal neighbors.
by John Deere
Step outside Chicago and into rural 1 p.m. 3 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
farm life by coming nose-to-nose with Turtle Tracking Nature Boardwalk, a Walk Through Time
Holstein dairy cows. Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
Painted turtles are key residents of the Step back in time as you stroll the
Nature Boardwalk ecosystem. Try boardwalk. Learn how science and cul-
tracking them with the real technology ture have shaped this popular Chicago
used by zoo scientists. destination.
4 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
Save the Date!
June–September July 22
Yoga at Lincoln Park Zoo Jammin’ at the Zoo
Connect with nature while Rock out with Sugar Ray at
exercising the body and imag- the wildest venue in town!
ination at Nature Boardwalk
at Lincoln Park Zoo. July 23
Breakfast at the Zoo
July 9, august 13, Curators’, Explorers’ and
September 10 Ecologists’ Circle donors—
Second Saturdays join us for this exclusive
garden Tours breakfast.
Enjoy a free look at how the
zoo’s gardeners keep the august 3, 10, 17
grounds beautiful. Native and Prairie Plants of
the Midwest: advanced Class
July 15, July 29, august 12 This three-part series offers a
Sleep Under the Skyscrapers: regional round-up that’s
Family Campout accessible, easy and useful.
Grab your nighttime gear and
join us for an outdoor august 26 ambassadors for the animals
overnight adventure! Jammin’ at the Zoo
Bid a fun farewell to summer guest engagement Leader (geL) Becky Brazzale
July 16 with Colbie Caillat on the loves to be a point person for zoo guests looking for info
Intro to Native and Prairie South Lawn. on animals. one of eight staff educators stationed
Plants of the Midwest throughout the zoo, she delivers daily chats on everything
Learn how good plant choices august 27 from seal feeding to painted turtle tracking.
and the right garden care can Winning the Weed War “It’s fantastic,” she says. “Not only do I get to work with
make each season spectacular. Learn what really makes a the animals—I also get to let others know about the cool
weed as well as safe ways to information I’m learning.”
gain control. Brazzale’s affinity for animals led to her degrees in biol-
ogy and environmental science. a recent graduate of
September 1 North Central College in Naperville, the Bolingbrook
Wine & Wildflowers native found the zoo job to be a perfect match for her
Get an inside look at Lincoln interest in helping others learn about nature.
Park Zoo’s lush landscapes
“Much of the role is figuring how long people want to
with this green garden party.
stay, what they want to hear about,” the educator says. “If
you can give people one thing to take away, you’ve done
Bedtime Buddies in
regenstein Small By tailoring messages to each guest, Brazzale and
Mammal–reptile House her fellow geLs ensure that every visitor walks away with
Bring the whole family to a greater appreciation for the zoo’s mission of conserva-
learn about life after dark. tion and care. They’re also able to make the learning fun,
using animal sightings to connect the zoo’s collection to
September 24 the wild. a chat about the adjustable yards at the Harris
Urban Wildlife Biologists Family Foundation Black rhinoceros exhibit can segue
Third–fourth graders can see into the threats facing the species in the wild. Questions
if they have what it takes to about the red wolf pack at the Pritzker Family Children’s
be an urban wildlife biologist! Zoo can prompt a realization of their fragile foothold in
North Carolina’s alligator river National Wildlife refuge.
Learn more about each “The job is fantastic,” Brazzale says. “Not many people
program—and register— can say they spend their day talking with people about
at www.lpzoo.org/calendar. black rhinos. No day is the same, and I really enjoy that.”
SUMMER 2011 5
Polar Bear Plunges
The zoo’s polar bear may be a cold-weather
creature, but much like the rest of us, she’d
rather swim in summer. “She prefers to go in
the water at Polar Bear Plaza when it’s a
little warmer out,” says Zoological Manager
Webbed paws provide a powerful motor
through the water. Be sure to stand in front of
the lower viewing window for a great photo as
the female makes her turn at the glass wall.
Flying Through the Water
They’re commonly associated with ice and
snow, but the birds at the Blum-Kovler
Penguin-Seabird House also enjoy water in its
unfrozen form. Specially adapted wings help
penguins and seabirds speed through the seas
of their exhibit.
Artificial kelp and plastic squid and octopi
are occasionally added to enrich the birds’
Amazing BY jAMES SEidLER
dives. “It gives them something different to
explore,” says Hope B. McCormick Curator of
Birds Colleen Lynch.
While the birds still take to the water in
summer, much of their energy goes toward the
season’s breeding activities. From collecting
stones for nest building to incubating eggs and
rearing chicks, the birds find plenty to engage
Living Underwater them on shore.
Touring the zoo on a hot summer day, it’s easy to envy Sunning on Shore
animals that can dodge the heat beneath the waves. The gray seals in the Kovler Sea Lion Pool
Cool off vicariously by visiting these swimming species. are generally spotted by the wake they leave in
the water. But summer warmth can entice these
marine mammals onto shore to soak up sun.
“If the weather’s 70–80 degrees, they really
enjoy laying out,” says Kamhout. The sun-
bathing even brings a slight change in their
africa Underwater appearance, as the sleek fur of winter becomes a little fuzzy
The dwarf crocodile’s water ways at Regenstein African during summer snoozes. See if you can spot the difference.
Journey are generally confined to floating motionlessly at the
surface. But the still life periodically gives way to an action Different Strokes
shot as she snags one of the pool’s Mozambique tilapia, aug- When it comes to splashy styles, the American beavers and
menting her already healthy diet. North American river otters are a study in contrasts. The
Further on in the building, it’s fitting that the pygmy beavers paddle patiently through the water at the Pritzker
hippopotamuses pinch nostrils shut beneath the surface as Family Children’s Zoo while the otters dive and dance,
they use powerful tails to fan their feces through the water. delighting visitors with split-second changes of direction.
Males make the mess to mark territory, while females do it to While the otters are active all year long, the beavers differ
advertise their breeding status. with the seasons. Summer heat can push back the beginning
Near the exit, a variety of Lake Malawi cichlids make micro of their “busy” behavior to 3 p.m. But even with the late start,
territories of their own in the Great African Rift Valley Lakes they still make short work of the willow, aspen or poplar trees
exhibit. Join the crowd taking in the otherworldly colors and provided by keepers twice a week.
shapes before returning to land. The beavers use part of the resulting mulch to line their
6 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
dens, along with leaves and straw. But summer showers can drained waters and the introduction of predatory fish.
spur a bit of spring cleaning, Curator Diane Mulkerin reports. Committed predators, axolotls eat whatever they can catch.
“After it rains, they dump everything in the lodge into the But what really distinguishes them from their amphibian peers
pool,” she says. “They want fresh bedding.” is their dedication to life in the water. “Most amphibians have a
terrestrial portion of their life cycle, but axolotls never meta-
Last Splash morphose into land salamanders,” says Mulkerin.
Regenstein Small Mammal–Reptile House is a great place They spend their lives beneath the surface, drawing oxygen
to wrap up your watery walk. Plenty of the building’s animals through feathery gills that extend back behind their heads. As
split time between the elements. Dyeing poison arrow frogs, you finish your tour here, you can almost visualize the lacy
Asian small-clawed otters, emperor newts, dwarf caimans, yel- projections waving goodbye.
low-spotted Amazon River turtles and other semi-aquatic
animals all swim, soak, splash and play. Solid swimmers, king penguins spend much of summer tending
But one of the more unique water-dwellers can be spotted eggs above the surface. The polar bear uses massive paws to pro-
right by the building’s entrance. That would be the axolotl, native pel herself through the water at Polar Bear Plaza while the axolotl’s
to Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco, where they are nearly extinct due to feathery gills indicate a permanent aquatic lifestyle.
SUMMER 2011 7
BY CHRiS MCNAMARA
hroughout the years, Lincoln Park Zoo has exhibited animals that could be considered historic—the silverback
T gorilla Bushman, who was famous among Chicagoans, and the swans that were the first animals exhibited here
back in 1868.
But the buildings that have housed Lincoln Park Zoo’s animals for more than a century are legendary in their own right.
Many have been named historic landmarks. others feature specific elements that have earned that honorary distinction.
While still other buildings here are simply cherished by generations of Chicagoans who have toured them while being awed
by their wild inhabitants.
Here we provide an overview of the historic brick-and-mortar components of Lincoln Park Zoo, to educate yourself on
the buildings you’ll enter this summer to escape the heat.
McCormick Bird House Helen Brach Primate House is considered one of the major
Designed by the zoo’s first landmark buildings on zoo grounds. A two-year renovation was
director, Cyrus DeVry, and completed in 1992 at a cost of more than $2 million, creating
opened in 1904, this home for more naturalistic exhibits with vines, trees and murals depicting
winged residents features 10 the howler monkeys’, pied tamarins’ and white-cheeked gib-
habitats that replicate the bons’ native habitats. The oak
dense jungles, sandy coasts, tree across from the outdoor
running streams and grassy gibbon exhibit is two centuries
plains of the birds’ native old, making it one of the eldest
homes. The tropical Free oaks in the state.
Flight Area enables guests to walk among fluttering birds. The
McCormick Bird House was last renovated in 1991, a three- Kovler Sea Lion Pool
year, $2.8 million process. This pool was built to accom-
modate Lincoln Park Zoo’s
eadie Levy’s Landmark Café first pair of sea lions, which
This little building was origi- arrived in 1879. A 200,000-
nally built to display animals, gallon saltwater habitat, the pool features a pupping cove
but by 1899 the zoo began where animals can go to give birth. In the late 1990s, more
serving refreshments out of it. than 4,000 Lincoln Park neighbors and friends contributed
(There are stalls at the ground $1.4 million to the Kovler Sea Lion Pool’s renovation, improv-
level, perhaps for hoofed ani- ing among other things the underwater-viewing area where
mals, and smaller enclosures guests can marvel at the aquatic acrobatics of the seals that
above for birds.) The currently reside here.
Landmark Café, named in
tribute to the matriarch of the restaurateur Levy family, has Park Pavilion / Park Place Café
undergone a series of renovations. In 1988 its Victorian Now housing the zoo’s main
stained-glass windows were restored and the copper cupola restaurant, Park Place Café,
topping the building was refurbished. The café was again Park Pavilion served as the
refurbished in 1999, and a city’s first aquarium from
bright-red roof was added. 1923–1937. It was transformed
While classic fare like popcorn into the Reptile House, then
is served, Eadie Levy’s closed again in 1994 for reno-
Landmark Café also dishes vation, reopening as Park
out hot dogs and French fries. Pavilion in 1998. This building’s historic facade, which
includes stone carvings of aquatic life, was preserved during
Helen Brach Primate House the renovation. Also during the renovation, workers uncov-
Originally built in 1927 as a ered an intact snake skeleton and a time capsule from the
small-mammal house, the 1930s that included coins, medals and printed materials.
8 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
Former Zoo Director Marlin Perkins had his office in the Chicago is a city crowded with architectural landmarks. And
basement of the building. Perkins’ popular television pro- few vantage points are better than the Lester E. Fisher Bridge,
gram, Zoo Parade, was actually filmed in a studio that is which spans the pond within Nature Boardwalk and provides a
now the café’s kitchen. south-looking view of the skyscrapers.
To help those ogling the skyline, Lincoln Park Zoo included
Kovler Lion House an interactive in the signage created for the opening of Nature
Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo in 2010. This print and tactile
This landmark, designed
tutorial, which details the buildings’ names and locations, was
by Prairie School archi-
generously donated by steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal.
tect Dwight Perkins, fea-
“The skyline interpretive demonstrates a balance between
tured two dozen exhibits the urban city—many skyscrapers that are important to the
when it was built in 1912. architecture of this great city were built by our steel—and the
The interior of the Kovler natural environment such as the Nature Boardwalk restora-
Lion House was renovat- tion,” says ArcelorMittal’s Corporate Responsibility Manager
ed in 1990, reducing the Heather Loebner. “We believe the natural and urban coexist in
exhibits to 10 to create balance with each other. Both are important to our sustainabil-
larger spaces for the residents. The building’s historic sig- ity of environmental resources and the fabric of the communi-
nificance ensured the Great Hall was preserved during ren- ties we live, work and play in each day.”
ovations. South outdoor exhibits were expanded in 2007, Loebner explains the process behind creating the interactive.
affording more space for the cats and red panda to prowl. First, the Chicago Architecture Foundation helped identify and
provide schematics for the skyline. Then ArcelorMittal fabricat-
Café Brauer ed the piece out of recycled steel, causing it to be a hefty piece of
Also designed by Dwight Perkins in 1908 and originally information.
known as the South Pond Refectory, Café Brauer is listed After initially being installed along the boardwalk, the sign was
on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1987, The recently moved atop the Fisher Bridge, providing a miniature,
Lincoln Park Zoological Society became responsible for a touchable replica of the buildings that loom in the distance.
“We are excited to help educate individuals about recycling
full-scale restoration of
(steel is virtually 100 percent recyclable) and the important
Café Brauer, most of
architecture of Chicago, all while enjoying the native species at
which hadn’t been used
Nature Boardwalk,” says Loebner.
since the late 1930s. Many
original details, including
the entire tile roof, were
re-created or restored,
which attracts wedding par-
ties who marvel at the beau-
ty of this treasured building.
Designed by Joseph Lyman Silsbee in 1888, Carlson
Cottage is one of the oldest buildings still standing at
Lincoln Park Zoo. Its name is derived from the caretakers
of the graveyard that once lay just steps from the building.
This small, ornate building just south of Café Brauer was
originally designed as a “comfort station,” a fancy name
for a public restroom. The building was renovated in
2008, earning a Chicago
Landmark Award for
Today the building serves
as headquarters for the
zoo’s volunteer gardeners,
who lend their time to
beautify the landscape that
surrounds the cottage.
Elder Statesmen BY CHRiS MCNAMARA
*Keo’s troop of chimpanzees is more aged than the other
hile it may not be as prominent as with humans,
animals do develop gray hair. Their follicles stop chimpanzee group at Regenstein Center for African Apes. All
producing pigment, just as ours do, replacing dark are in their senior years and deal with the arthritis that comes
locks with faded strands. with that. Staff accommodate them by providing extra bed-
And just as our human elders require special attention to help ding to ensure comfortable nights. They cook harder foods,
them deal with the problems of aging, so too do the such as sweet potatoes, to make them easier to chew. Many of
geriatric animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. Here we take a look these apes receive medication for heart conditions as well.
at some of the animals in their golden years—as well as accom- *The geriatric male dwarf mongoose at Regenstein Small
modations made by zoo staff to help them adjust to senior status. Mammal-Reptile House hasn’t let the passage of time oust
*our african lion, adelor, is 18 years old. As such, his once- him from his spot as leader of the group. This alpha male has
majestic mane is thinning a bit, his appetite isn’t what it used lost both eyes (an infection in one and a tumor in the other).
to be and his eyesight is fading. The big cat is also starting to A special ramp facilitates his arrival on exhibit each day,
experience kidney failure, a common development for elders where he maintains order with the group, reprimands
of this species. Animal care staff carefully monitor his condit- upstarts with the occasional nip and breeds with females, just
tion, and keepers at the Kovler Lion House provide Adelor a as an alpha male should.
few meals each day (rather than the normal single meal) to
prompt him to eat more. A solution to the cat’s thinning
hair—as any bald men out there know all too well—is elusive.
10 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
It’s a common goal to lose a little weight for
summer, but few take it to the extremes of the
zoo’s male white-lipped deer. With breeding
season behind him, this hoofed mammal sheds
the winter weight of a full rack of antlers.
It isn’t a small loss. The antlers can reach
up to 4 feet in length and weigh as much as 15
pounds. Males use the impressive headgear to
grapple with other males in their native
Tibetan Plateau of western China, all part of
the competition for mates.
That’s not to say wild white-lipped deer
spend all their time butting heads. The
species spends much of the year traveling in
single-sex herds. They come together only in
late fall, during rut, when the antlers are put
to energetic use. The calves are then born in
summer—the best season to put on weight,
when grasses are plentiful for nursing moms.
The zoo’s male white-lipped deer doesn’t
face any competition for mates, but he still
grows the antlers like clockwork. Summer
visitors can spot empty sockets on the male’s
crown—or rapidly growing nubs as new
antlers sprout again in September. Just in
time for the male to exert his dominance over
the balls and barrels keepers place in his
exhibit for enrichment.
SUMMER 2011 11
Tall Tails BY CHRiS MCNAMARA
he tails curl and coil like slithering snakes. They blindly seek out tree branches to use as
T braces when the animals bend down to grab pieces of fruit. The howler monkeys might
be known for their titular bellows, but their coolest feature might be the ones that hang
behind them, those thick, muscular prehensile tails that move with such dexterity you’d swear they were puppets.
of course, howler monkeys aren’t alone in possessing these awesome appendages. Most species at Lincoln Park Zoo have
tails, and they employ them in ways that range from mundane (shoo fly!) to marvelous (see above).
“Just as there is incredible variance in terms of physiology among animals, so too
is there great diversity among animal tails,” says Vice President of animal Care
Megan ross, Ph.D. “From size to shape to appearance to functionality, tails are
often as awe inspiring as the animals
they’re attached to.”
Lose your tail, save your life. That’s the
physiological logic behind autotomy—the
ability for lizards to shed their tails to evade hun-
gry hunters. “Some lizards have fracture planes in
their tails that enable them to detach them if they
get grabbed or bitten by a predator,” explains Curator
of Small Mammals and Reptiles Diane Mulkerin.
“Standing’s day geckos, for example, can contract
muscles in their tails, causing them to be released with
minimal damage to the animal. The detached tail will
continue to wiggle for several minutes, keeping the
predator occupied and enabling the gecko to escape.”
It’s not just primates who claim ownership to prehen-
sile tails—those with the ability to grasp. Some arboreal
snakes and lizards can cling with their handy backsides, too.
“The prehensile-tailed skinks may not have tails as dexterous as
howler monkeys’,” says Mulkerin, “but their fifth limb is a big help in
grabbing onto and moving around the branches of trees.”
Flippers & Feathers
The tilapia that inhabit the pools at Regenstein African Journey employ
their tails to scoot through the water, following their exhibit mates, the
pygmy hippos, which spin their tails while defecating, breaking up their
poop to mark territory—and giving the fish a handy meal.
A far less disgusting example of tail use can be found among Lincoln
Park Zoo’s birds. Birds do have small, rounded tails from
which their tail feathers grow. These are employed like rud-
ders, used for balance during flight (particularly dur-
12 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
Standing’s day geckos, red kangaroos, Baringo giraffes, African wild dogs and northern cardinals all employ different tails for the task.
Many Styles, Many Uses In addition to other uses, dogs and wolves communicate
While we discussed prehensile tails in the introduction, with their flyswatters. “Watch the red wolves at the Children’s
mammals use their “fifth limb” in a host of other fascinat- Zoo,” advises Mulkerin. “The animal carrying his tail high
ing ways. over his back is our dominant male. The three females may
Tails’ location at the rear of animals enables them occasionally carry their tails high but never when approaching
to shoo pesky flies attracted to dung. Long tails the dominant male.”
adorned with hair also help spread cooling, cleans- The white tips on African wild dogs’ tails serve as flags—
ing dust around hooved animals’ bodies. not communicating surrender, mind you, but rather alerting
The zoo’s red kangaroos use their tails in loco- pack mates to the presence of danger or food. Those white
motion, pressing the powerful appendages into tips also shoot up and wag when the wild dogs get excited
the ground, which enables them to lift their about something, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has
hind legs and move them forward. They also ever owned a pooch.
rock back on their tails when boxing one The cutest “tails” on any Lincoln Park Zoo animals aren’t
another with their limbs. technically tails at all. Like all apes, chimpanzees and gorillas
Some creatures employ their tails like don’t have tails, but youngsters do have white tufts of hair on
paddles or rudders. The beavers at the their rumps for the first few years of their lives.
Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo leisurely These don’t swat flies or grasp branches, but they’re a
pump their tails while swimming, just as hairy form of backside communication that says to elder
they vigorously use those flat-paddles group members, “I’m just a rambunctious youngster. If I
when packing mud into their watery cause a little trouble, you can’t kick my tail.”
homes. On the flipside are the
high-energy North American
river otters, which whip their
tails through the water to Tails for the Tasks
facilitate their underwater
Want to explore everything tails can
do? Visit www.lpzoo.org/magazine for
Tails for the Tasks, a matching game that high-
lights animals’ rear adaptations.
SUMMER 2011 13
Bloom BY CHRiS MCNAMARA
nthesis. That’s the term horticulturists
use when a plant reaches its peak
maturity, fully developed, in all of its
glory. “That is what you’ve planned for each
flower and plant. What you’ve worked for dur-
ing the previous year,” says Lincoln Park Zoo’s
resident green thumb Brian Houck.
As director of horticulture, Houck dreams
about anthesis during the dead of winter, when
only snow banks and complaints about the
cold are at their peaks. He notes anthesis on his
mental calendar—some nebulous point
around Labor Day that serves as inspiration for
the 364 days that precede it.
Anthesis is like a beauty pageant, when the
lookers—those sweet coneflowers and oakleaf
hydrangeas and September charm anemones—
stand tallest, bloom brightest and, here at the
zoo at least, are best capable of luring visitors’
eyes and admiration away from the awesome
“We have a tapestry of herbaceous perenni-
als that blossom throughout the summer,”
explains Houck. “We plan it so things are
blooming at different points in the summer.”
14 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
Early in the season, astilbe dominates. Pink, feathery “Lincoln Park Zoo is unique in that it’s a large space
plumes pop up throughout the zoo, providing a joyful wel- so close to downtown that’s accessible, safe, pleasant
come to the throngs of visitors that pour through the gates. and has good plants to show people,” replied Director of
By mid-summer, Russian sage takes center stage. Houck Horticulture Brian Houck when asked why the zoo is a
advises flower fans to check out the garden near the staircase good venue for flowery classes and events. “The zoo’s
beside the Wild Things! gift shop, which should be crowded garden is everybody’s garden. Chicagoans can take
with the small lavender petals and silver foliage. ownership of it and not have to maintain it themselves.”
As summer begins to wane, hardy hibiscus will bloom just It’s no coincidence that the Wine & Wildflowers
beyond the fence surrounding the tiger yard. The white-and- event was scheduled to coincide with anthesis. The
pink, dinner-plate-sized flowers complement the orange- inaugural program, to be held September 1, invites
and-black-striped residents. Meanwhile, black-and-yellow attendees to get an inside look at the zoo’s lush land-
striped visitors to the zoo—bees—help pollinate the hibiscus. scapes during this green garden party.
“Summer is a great time to admire plant life,” says the garden classes, such as introductory and advanced
director. programs focusing on species native to the Midwest,
Summer carries with it challenges, naturally. Extra irriga- run throughout the summer.
tion is needed to quench thirsty plants, and foot traffic tram- and free Second Saturdays garden Tours
ples grass. The blistering sun can wilt more delicate species. happen July 9, august 13 and September 10.
But others love the intense heat, particularly the prairie plants To learn more or register for any zoo pro-
at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, where rosin weed grams, visit www.lpzoo.org. as always, zoo
and prairie dock sunbathe like Floridians. members receive a discount.
While every summer is special for plant lovers, this
one will particularly wow at Lincoln Park Zoo. All annu-
als in containers around zoo grounds will follow a
color scheme. “They’ll match for the
first time,” beams Houck.
“They will all be a
combination of red,
orange and purple.”
This planned palette—
like summer itself—is fleet-
ing. All good things come to an
end. But Houck notes that next year
he will change things up, perhaps go with a
In addition to the matching hues this summer, the con-
tinually maturing Nature Boardwalk boasts black-eyed
susans, milkweed, cardinal and hyssop flowering in more
abundance than last year.
Pollinating many plants at Nature Boardwalk are butterflies,
which horticulturists use as barometers. Houck details how
green thumbs use the winged set to inform them how well
they’ve done. “An abundance of butterflies means we’ve used
the right flowers for them to feed and the right plants for their
larvae to eat. Where there are a lot of butterflies, you have a
The director expects a bevy of butterflies on zoo grounds
this summer—monarchs, eastern tiger swallowtails and
painted ladies. Look for them during anthesis.
Clockwise: Astilbe, hibiscus, milkweed, and Russian sage will be
some of the summer highlights of Lincoln Park Zoo’s living garden.
SUMMER 2011 15
Zoo in View
Whether you’re into water dwellers or tall tails, new
arrivals or elder statesmen, Swing into Summer has given 3 Spiders
you several views of the zoo’s world of wildlife. But what’s 3 Insects
the big picture? Enjoy a better understanding of the zoo as
a whole with these breakdowns of our amazing animals. 5 Amphibians
Top of the Class
Is Lincoln Park Zoo a world of wings or are mammals
From ostriches to 21 Reptiles
most numerous? When the species at the zoo are broken
down into their different classes, these two groups stand
birds are the most
at the zoo.
out in numbers. But the zoo has representatives across the
world of wildlife, from ostriches to giant baboon spiders.
A World of Wildlife Continents of Origin
While Lincoln Park Zoo houses animals from across the
globe, some continents are more common than others.
At that, a number of the zoo’s species can’t be confined to
North America 24
one landmass. Ocean dwellers, such as gray seals and tufted
South America 24
puffins, make up a large part of the “Multiple” category.
Others—jaguars, snowy egrets and American kestrels—
are the only species span the land bridge between the Americas.
making their home
Concern 92 Across the Conservation Spectrum
The zoo has species from across the conservation spec-
trum, from backyard dwellers to birds that can no longer be
found in the wild. Here’s the rarity of each Lincoln Park Zoo
species, as determined by the International Union for
20 Conservation of Nature.
• Lincoln Park Zoo participates in 83 Species
Near Survival Plans®, collaborating with zoos across
Threatened 17 the country in breeding and transfer plans to
17 ensure long-term health for zoo populations. Two residents of the
McCormick Bird House—
• The designations aren’t uniform the Guam rail and Guam
Critically across each species’ range. While
Not Listed Endangered Micronesian kingfisher
10 12 eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (pictured)—represent the
and piping plovers are globally rarest species at the zoo.
Extinct in considered species of least concern,
the Wild both are endangered in Illinois.
16 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
Summer Enrichment—Cool Stuff
While children flock to Lincoln Park Zoo to attend Summer
Conservation Camp and adults register for gardening classes,
the animals at the zoo are also enriched during summer
months. Just as they do throughout the year, species from small
mammals to large birds engage in enrichment that stimulates
their minds and prompts them to use their bodies as they would
in the wild.
Ice is a favorite tool used by keepers when it gets hot. Fish
frozen into ice blocks prompt the polar bear to lick its way to a
snack. Popsicles studded with fruits and veggies trigger the great
apes to use their large minds and dexterous fingers to get at the
goodies. And the warm weather prompts more animals to
explore their outdoor exhibits, which are populated in summer
months by the occasional butterfly or bird or flower—all items
that prompt curious animals to investigate.
Of course, when the heat becomes uncomfortable, guests
and animals can always find comfort inside, where in
Regenstein Center for African Apes the gorillas perform touch-
screen enrichment within public view throughout the week.
Sunny Sightings at Nature Boardwalk
Summer is a time of intense activity at Nature Boardwalk at
Lincoln Park Zoo, as many bird species’ young are developing
and fledging from their nests. Case in point: the black-crowned
night herons, which have nested near Nature Boardwalk for sever-
al years. Likewise, waterfowl youngsters, such as wood duck and
mallard chicks, will be paddling around and learning to forage, Touch-screen sessions at Regenstein Center for African Apes are part of
while in the air butterflies and dragonflies are out in full force. the summer enrichment on display. Red-billed hornbills are now sharing
“All these flying creatures make it a great time to come out to space with the masked lovebirds at Regenstein African Journey.
Nature Boardwalk with binoculars ready,” advises Coordinator
of Wildlife Management Vicky Hunt, who is ramping up Spiderwort These blue blossoms brighten the boardwalk
wildlife monitoring this summer. “We know what to look for landscape from May–July. While the 3-feet-tall stalks can pro-
this year, so where we only assessed species’ presence or absence duce multiple flowers, each blooms for only a day. Be sure to
last year, this year we will be looking at finding out in more enjoy them while they’re here.
detail how these species use the site.”
For example, Hunt will be tracking the painted turtles, which New Exhibitmates for the Lovebirds
were equipped with radio transmitters last fall. While they over- Just as new life can be found at Nature Boardwalk, new (and
wintered at the bottom of the pond, this summer they are bask- newly grown) winged residents are on display around the zoo.
ing on logs and rocks, making them easier to spot for both scien- Red-billed hornbills recently joined the lovebirds within
tists and those simply strolling around the waters’ edge. Regenstein African Journey. When these birds lays eggs, the
female incubates them in a tree cavity, which the male plugs up
Nature Boardwalk in Bloom with mud, droppings and fruit pulp. He leaves only a tiny hole,
A year of sunshine, water and tender care from zoo horticul- through which he can pass food to his mate and her newly
turists have made the vegetation—and the ecosystem—at hatched chicks.
Nature Boardwalk more vibrant than ever. Director of
Horticulture Brian Houck identifies some summer highlights. Storks Out
Blue Giant Hyssop This 2–4-foot flowering plant draws butter- Nearby at the Regenstein Birds of Prey Exhibit, the three
flies and bees. The lavender “spike” at its tip supplies nectar while European white storks hatched last spring are already full
the species’ boxy stem offers a living botany lesson. “The square grown, and two of them have been transferred to other
stem is typical of the mint family—you can identify it by gently Association of Zoos and Aquariums facilities. The third has
holding the stem,” says Houck. “It should smell a bit like anise.” moved off exhibit as mom and dad try for another clutch.
SUMMER 2011 17
news of the zoo
Dave Bernier is the zoo’s new general curator. Director of Horticulture Brian Houck helps green thumbs bloom with gardening classes. The Seventh
Annual Science Celebration let budding scientists share work conducted through the Young Researchers Collaborative.
Advancing Animal Care of Phoenix, Polk Bros. Foundation, Chase, JPMorgan and UBS.
Two recent changes reflect the zoo’s ongoing commitment to With school out of session, learning has continued with the
ensuring the best possible care for its animals. In February, Dave zoo’s Summer Conservation Camp and Zoo Crew. The former
Bernier was promoted to general curator of Lincoln Park Zoo. The helps 4-year-olds–fourth graders appreciate animal diversity, con-
20-year zoo veteran will use knowledge gained in nearly every cor- servation and care with a week (or two) of hands-on fun. The new
ner of zoo grounds to oversee the day-to-day care of Lincoln Park Zoo Crew program provides fifth–eighth graders a platform for
Zoo’s amazing animals. bringing environmental change into their communities.
Near the same time, Laura Lickel was hired as the nutrition “We want to give these kids the tools they need to be wildlife
manager at the Nutrition Center. The Bronx Zoo transplant will be ambassadors in their neighborhoods,” says Director of Public
responsible for planning healthful diets for the zoo’s many Programs and Guest Engagement Jessica Monahan. “At this point
appetites. Her meal planning will be enhanced by a recently in their lives, they have the ability to really be stewards for change,
received Master of Science in Animal Science. Her study of com- and that’s something we want to encourage.”
parative nutrition culminated in a thesis investigating the impact
of feeding schedule on tortoise growth and digestion. A Flurry of Support
From dancing the night away to running in the morning sun,
Green and Growing friends of the zoo have been active in showing their support. The
Animal lovers can now exercise their green thumbs with the Auxiliary Board kicked off the fun with their spring fundraiser,
zoo’s new series of gardening classes. The educational offerings, Zoo-ologie, on May 21. The lively gala was co-chaired by Erin
developed in tandem with Director of Horticulture Brian Houck, O’Brien, Daniel Silverfield and Annessa Staab and supported by
reflect the zoo’s status as one of the city’s most-visited gardens. contributing sponsor Mercedes-Benz Chicagoland Dealers and
Participants have already embarked on Second Saturdays additional sponsors including Chicago Social Magazine and Rockit
Garden Tours and IDed Plentiful Perennials, but there are plenty of Ranch Productions. More than 600 guests joined the fun, helping
classes ahead. Visit www.lpzoo.org/education to learn more! to raise vital funds for the zoo’s global conservation efforts.
On June 5, runners turned the zoo into their own raceway, jog-
Starting a Lifetime of Learning ging alongside African lions and Amur tigers as they vied for a per-
Zoo educators have had a busy summer introducing eager sonal best in the United Run for the Zoo. Adults took part in a 5k
pupils to the wonders of wildlife. The learning season kicked off run, 10k run and 5k fun walk while kids showed their best burst
with the Seventh Annual Science Celebration. Hosted at Café with a free Zebra Zip. All the motion—boosted by dedicated
Brauer by the Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo, the Science fundraising by participants—added up to marathon support for
Celebration was the culminating event for participants in the zoo’s the zoo’s animals. Special thanks to sponsors United Airlines, New
Young Researchers Collaborative. Many thanks to sponsors University Balance Chicago, Lifeway Foods, Startfruit and ArcelorMittal.
18 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
Ask any child how kangaroos get around and
they’re quick to respond with “hop!” The mar-
supial’s unique style of locomotion is widely
known, but the physics of the movement—the
nuts and bolts of getting around—are worth
First, the morphology. The largest marsupial,
red kangaroos can reach up to 4 feet tall and
weigh up to 120 pounds. They have small fore-
limbs, strong hind legs and powerful tails, which
they employ in a variety of ways when moving.
Walking isn’t one of them. They can’t walk.
Kangaroos’ hind legs don’t move independently
of one another, which makes it impossible for
them to stroll around their native Australia.
But as we know, they’re expert hoppers. The
powerful red kangaroo can travel 30 feet in one
leap. They can clock in at 35 mph when being
chased by hungry dingoes.
When kangaroos hop, they push off with
hind legs boosted by long paws. The tail is used
like a rudder, bobbing up and down to maintain
balance. The forelimbs dangle comically, await-
ing employment during landing.
A kangaroo’s slow method of movement is
much more complicated. The process is called
pentapedal locomotion. With the head tilted
downward, the forelimbs stretch out and plant
on the ground before the tail is pushed into the
soil, enabling the hind legs to scoot forward in
tandem. When those hind legs plant down,
they stretch past the front paws. Plant. Push.
It’s an ungainly, unusual motion. Of course,
this is an ungainly, unusual animal. (The
famous hopping is much more graceful.)
But keep in mind that kangaroo mothers
might have offspring in their pouches while
hopping or crawling around. Joeys can hide out
in pouches for as long as a year after birth,
nursing and seeking comfort from mom.
You try being graceful with a 1-year-old
hidden in your belly.
SUMMER 2011 19
Jennet Conly Tempone
Summer is the highlight of the zoo’s calendar, when special
My husband took a job in Chicago over the summer. We
events and sunshine and breaks from school lure crowds to (our three sons and I) weren’t ready to join him with school,
see the animals, educate themselves and marvel at the a house to sell, etc. So when we went out there to find a studio
natural wonder that is this world of wildlife. We solicited apartment for him in July, we took the boys to the zoo. They fell
summer stories from visitors. in love! Every trip out to visit daddy has involved the zoo. We
went to the zoo so much that I actually learned my way around
and found a place I felt comfortable in a strange city. Every talk
about nerves and not wanting to move includes a mention of
Hanah Festa how cool it will be to go to the zoo any time we want. We will
My boyfriend and I are from Durham, North Carolina, be moving this summer, finally, to be a family again, and I know
and we went to Chicago with his mom for a business trip in one of our first outings will be the zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo was a
June 2008. He and I went to the zoo early in the morning as it nice stepping stone for my boys.
was opening and watched the keeper prep the enclosures and
let the animals out. We also watched as the zoo quickly filled Jerry ostergaard
up with people. I am a zoology major and have always loved When I have out-of-town guests come to visit Chicago in
animals and visiting zoos. It was very interesting to compare the hot summer months, I always take them to the lakefront,
this zoo to the one we have in Asheboro. Lincoln Park is so and of course, that includes a stop at Lincoln Park Zoo. A friend
historic and shows how zoos have changed over time. I also from California was in town, and as we walked into the zoo, her
loved how the zoo was more like a park in that it was free. This head was swiveling around frantically. I asked what was the
makes it more accessible to people and will hopefully be more matter. “Where’s the ticket booth?” she queried. The look on
successful in educating people about the animals, conserva- her face when I told her the zoo was free was priceless.
tion and what is needed to keep our world natural! Overall, it
was a great experience and a way to escape from the hustle We Want to Hear Your Zoo Stories!
and bustle of the big city that we were not very used to. Visit www.lpzoo.org/stories to share your
favorite Lincoln Park Zoo memories.
20 LiNCOLN PARK ZOO
Programs for Zoo Members aDoPT an animal This Summer
Members-Only Morning—August 13, 8-10 a.m. Looking for a birthday gift this summer? Or do you sim-
The north end of Lincoln Park Zoo will be open ply want to forge a closer bond to your favorite species?
only to members during our first-ever Members-Only ADOPT an Animal from Lincoln Park Zoo. Consider a
Morning! Get a sneak peek at how keepers and animals rhinoceros, giraffe or jaguar in your gift that gives
start their day, including introducing animals to their twice—once to the recipient and once to the animals at
exhibits and much more. View enrichment exercises, par- the zoo. To learn more, visit www.lpzoo.org/support.
ticipate in fun family activities and see how we encourage
natural behaviors. Learn about zoo nutrition and enjoy Wish List
dynamic demonstrations from Lincoln Park Zoo scien- Love the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo? Love buying gifts?
tists. This is a free, all-ages event for members at any Browse our Wish List to purchase something special for
level. No reservations are required. Just show up, enjoy your favorite species. Zookeepers and curators have
the fun—and accept our thanks for your support! compiled a range of items that will enrich animals’ lives.
The Wish List can be found at www.lpzoo.org/support.
Members of our newest donor club enjoy
unique encounters with the zoo's curators,
keepers and animals. enjoy VIP benefits
such as the after-hours Night Hike while
providing vital funding for Lincoln Park
Zoo’s mission of conservation, education
and care. Learn more about donor clubs
SUMMER 2011 21
Your membership supports everything we do, organization
from animal care to publishing Lincoln Park U.S. Postage
Zoo magazine. Thank you. PaID
Po Box 14903 Lincoln Park Zoo
Chicago, IL 60614
Who’s the newest baby to
emerge from the den? When’s
the next opportunity to Sleep
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How does vaccinating dogs protect African
lions in Serengeti National Park? Which parent
provides the bulk of the care for baby pied
tamarins? Browse www.lpzoo.org to experience
Join the Fun the zoo’s full world of wildlife.
What’s on the menu for the latest Diet
Snapshot? Which wild behavior is being Members Benefit
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