Lincoln Park - Zoo, Chicago
Chicago's largest public park at 1,208 acres, LINCOLN PARK was named after Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln Park is known for its statuary. Walking through the park you will see many of Chicago's great works of art. There is a famous statue of Abraham Lincoln (Main pic) by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Lincoln Park is also well known for the Lincoln Park Zoo, a free zoo that is open all year round.
Allan & I visited the new Regenstein Center for Africa Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo . It opened in July after a 2-year period when all of the apes & chimps were in other zoos while the new, state-of-the-art building was completed.
It is 29,000 square ft of living space, indoors & out with real & simulated bamboo, dozens of trees, skylights, termite mounds for "fishing", 5,000 ft of artificial vines for climbing & swinging, heated logs, a moat, a waterfall, sunshine, & fresh air.
It cost about $26 million dollars!!!
There are three spacious habitats: Dry Riverbed Valley for chimps or gorillas, the Kovler Gorilla Bamboo Forest, & the Strangler Fig Forest for either. The indoor exhibits are immediately adjacent to the outdoor exhibits; they appear to be one, & glass windows that are 19 feet tall & 33 feet wide separate them. The animals will have outdoor access 8 or 9 months per year.
The theme of the new building is LEARNING This learning is for the animals & the patrons.
A deep moat prevents gorillas from scrambling out of their open-air outdoor habitat. Out there, the gorillas have a heated log, a warm mud band, & a cooling waterfall. A mesh netting contains the chimpanzees & gorillas in the other two outdoor habitats. They have a termite mound where the chimps "fish" for treats. In addition, they have a water hole, two fig trees to climb, & a mechanical tree limb that they bounce up & down on.
The indoor habitats stimulate the animals mentally. For example, the chimpanzees can observe human reactions when they trigger a device that shoots a blast of air at visitors standing in the viewing area. It takes time for the chimps to learn to activate the device. The results are hilarious!
When deciding to build this new home, the Lincoln Park Zoo wanted a new building where chimpanzees & gorillas could live in "naturalistic splendor & visitors & scientists could observe animal behavior like never before." This new structure gives them what they wished for!
Fondest memory: While there, a mother gorilla was on her back with her back feet in the air, & she was bouncing her baby on her feet! A big silverback gorilla was eating real bamboo from the bamboo plants in the outdoor exhibit.
I strong suggest that those of you who love animals should visit this new home for chimpanzees & gorillas at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Photo of Silverback Gorilla eating real bamboo in the outdoor exhibit.
CLICK TO REALLY SEE THE GORILLA!
Fondest memory: I remember going a lot as a child and my favorite animal to visit was Olga the walrus. When I went a couple years ago as an adult, there is a new walrus exhibit with a huge statue as a tribute to Olga. It brought back lots of great memories!
Favorite thing: Visit the lincoln park zoo just because it's free. During the winter, they decorate the zoo with a bunch of lights. It's actually kind of cool. Sometimes, the snow isn't so bad and actaully makes things look nice once in a while. Here is a concession building in the zoo during the winter.
Established in 1868 it is among the oldest zoos in the country, It gets more than 3 million visitors a year.
Fondest memory: This is a photo of the outside of the primate house.