A family of foxes has taken up residence in Chicago’s Lurie Garden. (Courtesy of Lurie Garden)

For a bunch of hardened urbanites, Chicagoans sure do have a soft spot when it comes to animals.

Cookie the cockatoo, in life and in bronze, at Brookfield Zoo. (Courtesy of Brookfield Zoo-Chicago Zoological Society)

The recent loss of Nakili, Brookfield Zoo’s 33-year-old eastern black rhinoceros, unexpectedly sent us on a trip down memory lane, revisiting some of the zoo’s most beloved residents.

Nakili, the eastern black rhinoceros. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Nakili was diagnosed with kidney disease last summer. At 33 years old, he was the oldest male of his species living in an accredited North American zoo.

Three-year-old Banana, a pygmy hippopotamus at Brookfield Zoo, eyes her heart-shaped watermelon. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

In what’s become an annual tradition, staff at Brookfield Zoo handed out Valentine’s Day treats to several animals this holiday. The reactions were priceless.

A giraffe is pictured at Brookfield Zoo in November 2022. (WTTW News)

Brookfield Zoo is celebrating a big milestone. It was a century ago when construction on the grounds began.

Recovery work after the Repsol oil spill. (Courtesy of Oceana Peru)

Recently, two researchers with Brookfield Zoo received prestigious awards for their work in the field. Their current work focuses on the impacts of major oil spills on marine life.

Josie, a California sea lion, shows off her receiving skills as Brookfield Zoo celebrates the start of Bears football season. (Cathy Bazzoni / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Before the Chicago Bears kick off their 2022-23 season on Sunday, the team might want to send some scouts to Brookfield Zoo.

A baby addax calf, born July 2, with his mom, Simone, at Brookfield Zoo. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

The addax, a Saharan antelope, is threatened with extinction in the wild, where fewer than 100 exist. A baby just born at Brookfield Zoo is part of the species’ conservation plan.

Captive-born Mexican wolf pups being introduced into wild dens in 2018. (Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team)

Once considered extinct in the wild, the Mexican wolf is making a comeback thanks to a recovery plan involving breeding and fostering programs at places like Brookfield Zoo.

Brookfield Zoo’s porcupette, born March 19. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Brookfield Zoo is celebrating the arrival of an adorable baby porcupine. We had to know: How do mama porcupines give birth safely? 

North American river otters, once nearly extinct in Illinois, are a great comeback story. (Grayson Smith / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The Urban River Otter Research Project recently launched in Cook County. One of the early goals is to gather otter sightings from the public in order to get a sense of the extent of the animal’s presence in and around Chicago.

Titus, an African lion, channeling his inner house cat. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Most of Brookfield Zoo’s 700 Christmas trees were shredded for mulch. But some were used by keepers’ to shake up animals’ routines. The results were entertaining. 

Seahorses. (Wal_172619 / Pixabay)

Brookfield Zoo is in the midst of a seahorse baby boom and caught the arrival of its newest little ones on camera. Dad made it look easy.

An Amur tiger. (TheOtherKev / Pixabay)

The 11-year-old tiger had received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine developed for animals. The zoo is now awaiting test results for other big cats that are exhibiting symptoms similar to the infected tiger’s.

One of the three capybara, just arrived at the Brookfield Zoo. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Capybaras, native to Central and South America, are the largest members of the rodent family, tipping the scales at 130 pounds. Three of them have just arrived at the Brookfield Zoo.

A Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth at Brookfield Zoo receives a COVID-19 vaccine. (Cathy Bazzoni / Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo)

Animals at Brookfield Zoo have begun receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, with Lincoln Park Zoo soon to follow, as federal and state officials approved the use of the inoculations.