Chicago Zoological Society

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Chicago Zoological Society

"The seeds for Brookfield Zoo were planted in 1919, when Edith Rockefeller McCormick donated 83 acres of land specifically for the formation of a modern zoo. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, the recipient of the gift, kicked in additional property, and the total soon came to around 200 acres. A series of delays, including a 1923 failed tax rate vote and the financial crash of 1929, resulted in postponing the grand opening until July 1, 1934.

"Brookfield Zoo soon gained international attention; first for being a largely "barless" zoo, designed with moats and other natural barriers rather than cages, and, within a few years of its opening, for exhibiting the first giant pandas in the United States. The zoo would, over the years, maintain its reputation for innovation in exhibitry, building the nation's first inland dolphinarium in 1960, and creating Tropic World, a huge indoor immersion rain forest exhibit (complete with waterfalls and thunderstorms), which was the first of its kind in the world.

"As Brookfield Zoo moved into the 1980s, it gained prominence as a center for various types of conservation programs: population genetics, animal nutrition, behavioral studies, and ecological restoration. The work of the Chicago Zoological Society now extends around the world, with long-term research on bottlenose dolphins, Hawaiian birds, and baboons, among other species."" [1]


Accessed March 2009: [2]



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. History, Chicago Zoological Society, accessed April 4, 2009.
  2. Leadership, Chicago Zoological Society, accessed April 4, 2009.