Lincoln Park Zoo - Lincoln Park: East Lawn
Lincoln Park Zoo is everyone's zoo. And although it is among the oldest zoological gardens in the country (established in 1868), it also is among the most modern-a leader in wildlife conservation, community education and recreation. A premier Chicago attraction, Lincoln Park Zoo each year welcomes more than three million visitors, providing them with remarkable learning experiences as well as fun and enjoyment. Its intimate setting enables guests, young and old alike, to experience the thrill of gazing directly into the eyes of a lowland gorilla and standing toe to toe with an African elephant. Famous also for its historical structures, the zoo has succeeded at combining state-of-the-art animal and visitor facilities with beautiful architectural reflections of past times and sensibilities.
In 1995 The Lincoln Park Zoological Society assumed the day-to-day operations and management of the zoo from the Chicago Park District. The Park District provides partial operating support, but private funds cover nearly two-thirds of the zoos operating costs. As Lincoln Park continues to evolve into one of the finest zoos worldwide, the one element that will not change is its admission policy: Lincoln Park Zoo stands as one of the last free major cultural institutions in the United States and the only one left in Chicago.
Construction has begun on the most extensive and dramatic project ever undertaken by Lincoln Park Zoo. Regenstein African Journey will feature large, lush habitats for wild dogs, meerkats, aardvarks, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, crocodiles, warthogs, ostriches and many other amazing African animals.
Designed to provide an unparalleled immersion experience, Regenstein African Journey will make visitors feel as if they, too, are part of the remarkable African landscape.
The Polar Bear Pool features a new filtration system and a stunning, single-panel, underwater viewing window, added to give guests an even better view of our bears. This important project has been generously underwritten by The Stuart and Sheri Levine Family Foundation.
The Robert R. McCormick Bear Habitat contains seven outdoor habitats for spectacled bears, sun bears and polar bears. A Lincoln Park Zoo favorite for more than 110 years, polar bears will continue to enjoy their 266,000-gallon pool one of the largest polar bear zoo exhibits in the world. The sibling bears, a male named Lee and a female named Anana, were born in November 1999. This renovation is part of My Kind of Zoo, the $125 million campaign to ensure that the zoo remains everyone's kind of zoo: free, open, and amazing, 365 days a year.
Birds from the tropics, seashores, forests, wetlands and savannas all have room to roost in Lincoln Park Zoos McCormick Bird House. Within this historic, brick building-designed in 1904 by the zoos first director, Cyrus DeVry-are 10 habitats replicating the dense jungles, sandy coasts, running streams and grassy plains of the birds natural homes.
Step into the lush, tropical free-flight area to watch exotic and endangered birds gracefully soar overhead. This habitat alone is home to more than 20 bird species.
Great Ape House
The biggest tree house in Chicago! Construction on the Great Ape House began in 2004, allowing gorillas and chimpanzees to enjoy enlarged natural exhibits, complete with expansive open yards filled with life-like trees and vines. It's the first time that all our great apes have access to outside yards! The new facility is four times the size of the old building, and includes the Ape Institute - a research, training and education center that enables conservationists and scientists from around the globe to study apes.
Lincoln Park Zoo is renowned for its outstanding collection of western lowland gorillas, and has gained international recognition for its successful breeding program for this critically endangered species. Since 1970, nearly 50 gorillas have been born at Lincoln Park Zoo. This renovation is part of My Kind of Zoo, the $125 million campaign to ensure that the zoo remains everyone's kind of zoo: free, open, and amazing, 365 days a year.
Built in 1912, the Kovler Lion House stands as a handsome historical landmark at the heart of the zoo. Inside, its wide hall and vaulted ceiling richly amplify the roars of some of the worlds rarest and most beautiful big cats, including African lions, Siberian tigers, leopards from Asia and Africa, jaguars from South America, and snow leopards of the Himalayas.
Open the door to the Kovler Penguin and Seabird House and you're greeted with a cacophony of calls from a variety of aquatic birds.
Rockhopper, Chinstrap and King penguins all make their home in the zoos 18,000-gallon, temperature-controlled pool. In this habitat, a sophisticated computer system simulates the daylight cycle that penguins experience in the wild, assisting their natural breeding cycles. Air temperature is rigorously maintained at 35 to 40F and water at 40F.
Puffins, murres, and razorbills swim in a neighboring 10,000-gallon pool and inhabit rocky cliffs that simulate their native northern Atlantic coastal environment.
From the brightly colored red-ruffed lemur to the tiny emperor tamarin, primates of all shapes, sizes and colors can be seen swinging and bounding through the trees inside the Helen Brach Primate House.
Originally opened in 1927, the historic Primate House once was lined with small, sterile cages typical of the first zoos. However, a two-year renovation of the buildings interior, completed in 1993, created eight, naturalistic exhibits that replicate the native habitats of the primates that make their home at Lincoln Park Zoo today. A large outdoor habitat provides additional play space for howler monkeys during the warmer months.
Opened in 1997, the 32,000-square-foot Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House features roughly 200 small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and birds, coexisting in naturalistic, mixed-species habitats. Literally surrounded by wildlife, visitors are able to experience the climates, conditions and animals of four continents-South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
The buildings two main areas, the Gallery and the Ecosystem, were designed to exhibit some of the worlds most remarkable animals and to teach people about the importance of preserving endangered species and their native habitats.
It was the gift of a pair of swans that began Lincoln Park Zoo more than 130 years ago. Today, a pair of snow-white trumpeter swans still makes its home at the verdant Hope B. McCormick Swan Pond, serving as a continual reminder of the zoos long history of preserving wildlife.