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Glancer Magazine

BROOKFIELD ZOO | Bear Awareness Celebration Goes Virtual


If Brookfield Zoo was open, animal care specialists and volunteers would be engaging guests in a variety of bear-themed activities during its annual Bear Awareness celebration. However, since the zoo is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is going virtual in a BEAR-y big way with live chats, videos, and fun activities to do at home.

Throughout the week of May 17, bear lovers of all ages can learn about the zoo’s three species of bears—polar bears, Alaskan brown bears, and sloth bears. Tune in to Brookfield Zoo’s “Bringing the Zoo to You” Facebook Live chat on May 19 at 11:00 a.m. to find out about the Alaskan brown bear brothers—Jim and Axhi. In the afternoon on May 19, an Instagram live chat at 2:00 p.m. will feature the zoo’s nutritionist, who will present the diets of all the bears, including Hudson and Nan, the zoo’s two polar bears. Finally on May 21, via Facebook Live at 11:00 a.m., viewers can see the sloth bears interacting with their wobble tree and learn the different ways they use their sense of smell. Those who can’t tune in at the scheduled times, can watch all the chats on the zoo’s Youtube channel and Facebook page.

Additionally during the week, other pre-recorded videos will be posted on the zoo’s social media channels that highlight how the bears are cared for at Brookfield Zoo, the threats and concerns bears face in the wild, and some fun facts that showcase the bears’ personalities.

On Brookfield Zoo’s website at, kids can download bear-centrric “I Scienced” At-Home activity sheets, both in English and Spanish. Coloring pages featuring polar bears and brown bears are also available to download as well as three different bear masks. Kids can color one or all of the masks, cut them out, and then tape a string to each one to wear around their own local wilderness.

Those interested in helping care for Brookfield Zoo’s bears can contribute to the Animal Adoption program. For $35, a recipient receives the Basic Package, which includes a 5-inch x 7-inch color photograph of a polar bear, Alaskan brown bear, or sloth bear; a personalized certificate of adoption; a fact sheet about the species of choice; and an Animal Adoption program decal. To purchase a package, visit

During its temporary closure, Brookfield Zoo has been keeping the public connected to animals and nature with its weekday Facebook Live chats and Instagram chats on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition to bear-themed educational activities, the zoo also has several other fun and engaging “I Scienced” At-Home e-learning resources for pre-kindergarten to second graders. These can be downloaded at