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.

A Boykin spaniel with an ornate box turtle in its mouth waits to hand it over. (Cathy Bazzoni / Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo)

Specially trained “turtle dogs” took part in a field study of threatened ornate box turtles at Nachusa Grasslands, one of the species last homes in Illinois.

Meet Brookfield Zoo’s new mother-daughter Mexican wolves, Sibi and Lorena. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

After self-imposed winter breaks, Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo are reopening to guests, with a number of safety precautions in place due to the coronavirus. Here’s what to expect.

Veterinarians, technicians and staff prepare Malena, a 10-year-old endangered Amur tiger, for total hip replacement surgery at Brookfield Zoo, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Brookfield, Ill. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

An Amur tiger that underwent hip-replacement surgery only to dislodge the orthopedic implant within hours has been operated on again, officials at a suburban Chicago zoo said Monday. 

Hudson, Brookfield Zoo’s 14-year-old polar bear, frolics in the snow. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Both Brookfield and Lincoln Park zoos will temporarily close during January and February, but they have plenty of online content in the works to remain connected with the public.

Magic, a bottlenose dolphin born at Brookfield Zoo in 2013. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

The Chicago Zoological Society said it was devastated by the loss of the dolphin, Magic, who was born and hand-reared at Brookfield Zoo. Others who had visited the dolphin expressed their sadness on social media.

Paul Eberhart, a lead animal care specialist at Brookfield Zoo, spends some time with the Nigerian dwarf goats. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society

For institutions with “living collections,” there’s really been no such thing as a shutdown during the pandemic. Even with no visitors coming through the door, zoos and aquariums are still caring for their animals around the clock.  

(Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

The 150-year-old zoo is preparing to welcome its first visitors since the March coronavirus shutdown. Here’s what you need to know.

Brookfield Zoo welcomed a litter of seven African painted dogs in January, and is leaving the name of one of the pups up to the public. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

The African painted dog was born in January and still needs a name. Brookfield Zoo has four options, with voting open to the public through May 20.

Brookfield Zoo recently welcomed a new pair of lions. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Brutus and Titus, 4-year-old brothers, arrived at their new home in mid-March. Learn more about the African lions during a Facebook Live chat on Thursday.

Lucy (left) and Charger, two California sea lions, received shamrock-shaped treats on St. Patrick’s Day at Brookfield Zoo. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

At least one St. Patrick’s Day tradition is alive and well in these topsy-turvy times. Animals at Brookfield Zoo received special shamrock-shaped treats on Tuesday.