Zoo

A Tyrannosaurus rex waits to be discovered at the zoo near Chicago.

Historic Brookfield Zoo west of downtown Chicago reopened its outdoor exhibits in July after shutting down because of the pandemic, and some exciting new creatures moved in during the hiatus.

Now through Nov. 1 is “Dinos Everywhere!” The zoo has transformed its 216 acres of nature park into a home for 40 animatronic dinos, and dinosaur lovers will love these lifelike exhibits.

Visitors can create their own safari to search for all of the dinosaurs. One not to be missed is the Argentinosaurus located on the zoo’s west mall. This guy (or girl) measures more than 110 feet in length and is three stories tall.

This prehistoric exhibit is interactive and allows zoo-goers to put their knowledge of dinosaurs to the test, answering trivia questions to win a prize.

Don’t forget your camera or phone for some selfies. A picture with a Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Pteranodon or Pentaceratops is a must.

“Dinos Everywhere!” was created by “Jurassic Park” adviser Don Lessum and is on loan from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Six Mold-A-Rama machines have been added to the park so kids can make a dino to take home. The first Mold-A-Rama machine at the zoo was installed in 1966. The machines are found at different locations across the zoo and make a molded plastic souvenir relative to the location.

Zoo visitors also have the opportunity to see current animals in their outdoor habitats, including Brutus and Titus, the 4-year-old African lions who joined the zoo family in March. Brookfield is also home to African wild dog puppies, Mexican wolves, polar bears, gray seals, an Amur tiger, Galapagos and Sulcata tortoises, kangaroos, brown bears and Sasha, a 5-month-old Amur leopard cub born at the zoo.

Brookfield Zoo also is an accredited arboretum, with more than 100 trees and plant species throughout. A detailed map identifies the trees and provides a self-guided tour.

The zoo opened in 1934 and has gained an international reputation because of its role in animal care and conservation. In 1937 it became the first zoo in the United States to have a panda bear.

All admission and parking tickets must be purchased at CZS.org/OnlineTicketing.org. No tickets will be sold onsite. Everyone older than 2 is requested to wear a face covering when they enter the zoo, and face coverings should be worn when guests are not able to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from staff and other visitors who are not members of the same family. At this time all the buildings are closed to entry.

Check out CZS.org/KnowBeforeYouGo for more information.

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