From fuzzy baby penguins to camera-hog goats to the sight of a polar bear blissfully rolling around in the snow, the zoo’s “best of” montage is three minutes of pure cuteness, and a reminder that the year had its bright moments.
Both Brookfield and Lincoln Park zoos upped their video production games in 2020, using their digital platforms to remain connected with the public during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown in the spring and early summer.
“It’s been a forced learning, but we’ve learned how to do it better,” said Bill Ziegler, senior vice president of animal programs at Brookfield Zoo.
The zoos will be relying on those same digital channels in the coming months to deliver educational content and behind-the-scenes glimpses of their operations while they temporarily close during January and February. (Brookfield is closed Friday through Feb. 28; Lincoln Park is closed Monday through March 4.)
On Monday, Brookfield Zoo resumes its “Bringing the Zoo to You” Facebook Live chats on weekdays at 11 a.m. Animal care staff have already lined up features on North American river otters, snow leopards and Pistachio, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle who arrived at the zoo this fall. The videos will be archived on the zoo’s Facebook page and will also be available on the zoo’s YouTube channel for those unable to tune into the live sessions. “Bringing the Play Zoo to You” videos geared toward young children will be posted on Thursdays and will be available in English and Spanish.
Lincoln Park Zoo will debut a new web series “Stay Tuned to the Zoo,” airing every Tuesday and Thursday on YouTube during the winter closure. The videos will incorporate family-friendly activities along with animal care stories. The zoo also regularly shares candid photos of animals, snapped by keepers and scientists, on its Facebook page.