Wild Encounters Are Not Just For Kids At Brookfield Zoo!

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Brookfield Parakeets

Hamill Family Wild Encounters will broaden your horizons. Especially if you get to see a wallaby hoping right past you. Your eyes will be watching their powerful hops. This is just one of the new animal attractions you can experience at Brookfield Zoo. With 3.2 acres that include animals from the tundra to the Australian Outback, you will definitely fall paw over hoof to see them all.

Brookfield Wallaby

There is more to experience as the area opened on July 1st. We got a sneak peek before hand and let me tell you I don’t think any of us were disappointed. Our nephew who is not yet 3 years old loved every second of it. The wallabies were hopping right past him. The goats were gobbling up food from his hands and the parakeets were enjoying his seeds. Truly for a kid, I think these are the best kinds of animal encounters. You get up close and personal while learning new facts.

We all certainly loved seeing the new animals. The reindeer were a little hot, but they are from the tundra. Weighing in anywhere from 170-400 pounds, they certainly are impressive. The females are smaller than the males by around a 100 pounds, but since they both have antlers you might find it hard to tell them apart unless you know their secret. Just as you might undertake the challenge to figure out which are the llamas and which are alpacas.

There are also red pandas. You may or may not have seen them before. They certainly don’t camouflage quite as well as they do in their natural habitat. It’s a bit hard to believe that red and white stripes blend in somewhere but they do in the eastern Himalayas and southern China. They have quite an amazing habitat with a specially designed bonsai tree that dispenses foods at unexpected times. Meaning that they have to forage for their food as they would in the wild.

Brookfield Feed Goats

Of course, there are the Nigerian dwarf goats. You can see them jump and get up close. We got to brush and pet them as well as feed them. They do like to nibble though so mind your toes! The Parakeet Aviary is perfect for any bird lover. They are trained to come to sticks topped with seeds. They will eat right out of your hand and perch all over you. They have more than 700 but not all will be on display at once. There is one more animal you can feed and that is the wallabies and emus. They have a large enclosure with a walking path. You can walk about inside and feed them handfuls of food. They are quite lively. You may even encounter some animal ambassadors nearby.

Brookfield Ambassador

There over 70 animal ambassadors in nearly 40 different species. They are all housed nearby in the Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion. There the reptiles, birds and small mammals are kept while they’re not showing off their unique characteristics. We got to see the Southern Tamandua or lessor anteater. She feasted on a wriggly treat while we admired her climbing abilities and her sticky tongue.

The experience can go on as the pavilion has a fully functional kitchen for events and catering. With seating for 160 guests in the ITW White Oak Room, you can organize a special event or perhaps encounter one of the animal ambassadors. There is a covered patio as well. We had a pleasant lunch inside. Someone in our party was a bit excited to see the baker man.

Brookfield Carousel

Entry to the Hamill Family Wild Encounters is $5 for adults and $3 for kids 3-11 and seniors over 65. Kids 2 and under are free. Plus zoo members get half off all those admission prices. You do have to purchase food for the animals, but there are coin crank machines. Don’t forget to stop by one of the many hand sanitizing stations afterward! We hope you will learn and enjoy from this new area of the Brookfield Zoo as much as we did!

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