Okay guys, here comes my first review! Take it easy on me guys! Hahaha. This is my fifth time visiting Brookfield Zoo since September of 2015, but will be my first time actually doing a review of this massive, sprawling zoo right outside of Chicago, IL! I will split this review in to two different parts because really, who wants to read a giant wall of text about a zoo review? <Looks at website> Well, maybe people here, but I will still split the review up! Hahaha. Being from Milwaukee, WI a little bit up I-94, Chicago and my city has a lot of things that they compete in, I mean--it goes on and on, and on… As far as zoos go--they kick Milwaukee’s rear end pretty good! Hahaha. But I’m here to still say that my Packers beat their beloved Bears to go to the Super Bowl and win it all a couple years back! But I respect the “Monsters of the Midway,” despite being my team’s oldest rivals. But enough about sports, and more about the animals and the zoo itself… This review is based off of my August 27, 2016 visit--my review will go in the order of how me and my girlfriend viewed the exhibits. By the way, this was the day that their beloved feathered friend, Cookie passed away--the last remaining animal from Brookfield Zoo’s opening day in 1934. To start, we parked at the North Gate. We made our way under (yes, underneath--it made me feel so awesome the first time I did it--seriously) 31st street and proceeded our way to the admission booths. As soon as you walk in to Brookfield Zoo, past the ticket admission booths-- one of the first things you see is a carousel. Now what is so cool about this carousel? This carousel is the oldest non-restored wooden carousel in the country. So that’s a pretty cool nugget. Would I ever ride it? Probably not… But you bet that I will still throw that fact out there to everybody that comes with me. Hahaha. The first area me and my girlfriend went to see here at Brookfield Zoo was towards “The Fragile Desert.” However, before you walk in to the building--you come upon an Amur leopard exhibit! It’s always a thrill to see such a rare species of big cat. It’s an okay exhibit. It is a moderate size, but at least it has its fair share of climbing opportunities. Now, “The Fragile Desert” is an African-themed building that showcases animals such as meerkats, caracal, naked mole rats, rock hyraxes, African bat-eared foxes, and black-footed cats. I like this building a lot. It even features a bridge-like walkway in which you can view the rock hyraxes (who have a cool exhibit) and caracals. Very cool. Next up, we went to see the “Big Cats.” These are just grotto habitats, that to me, are very average (at least they have natural substrate). It would be nice to one day see Brookfield Zoo renovate these exhibits and give these felines nice homes. Exhibited here are African lions, amur tigers, sloth bears (bears--cats, two of the same. Hahaha), and snow leopards (which have the best exhibit out of all of them and features glass viewing). Every time we have gone, the snow leopards have been active. So that’s always nice! Next up was the newly-renamed “Clouded Leopard Rain Forest” which was once known as “The Fragile Rain Forest.” This building (whose animals are Asian-centric) contains animals such as clouded leopards (an exhibit I really enjoy with its waterfall feature, even though there isn’t much natural lighting), binturongs (another cool habitat, plus the babies were just adorable), fishing cats, and a Prevosts squirrel habitat which has a cool feature in which the squirrel can run around the building in a wire tunnel above the visitors. That’s such a cool quirk. Up next was “Pinniped Point.” This set of two separate habitats is home to California sea lions, grey seals, and harbor seals. Featured is both above water viewing, and underwater viewing in which you climb down steps to get to. I like the exhibit, and I enjoy it. There is one California sea lion that is massive, and seeing it swim by the underwater viewing glass was definitely a thrill for me and my girlfriend to see every time. Hahaha. After watching the pinnipeds swim around for a bit, we visited “Seven Seas.” The tank here for the common bottlenose dolphins is simple, and may be a tad on the small side--but it truly is a thrill to see some of the smartest animals up close. This is the first time I’ve ever seen these magnificent creatures and it never gets old to see my old friends like Tapeko, Magic, Spree, and the such. We did not attend the dolphin show this time around even though we both really enjoyed it when we went to go see it last year. We did not visit the "Hamill Family Play Zoo." We visited it in the winter last year, and enjoyed it (even if an emu ran at us full speed and scared the heebejeebes out of us), but I don't think I will ever pay for it. This day, they were setting up tents for their Beer Garden-like event. Personally, beer disgusts me (how weird for a Wisconsinite to say that?! Hahaha), and she doesn’t care much for it, either (yes!). So we just walked right on by and continued our walk to a building that ruffles feathers of so many: Some love it, some dislike it--“Tropic World.” It is divided in to three different sections representing three different continents: South America, Asia, and Africa. Now, “Tropic World” is a massive complex. Simply humongous. At one time, I believe it was the largest indoor zoo building in the whole world You start off with South America section, first. In this section are golden lion tamarins, black-handed spider monkeys, cotton-topped tamarins, and on the floor--two giant anteaters (who need their own outdoor exhibit), and other bird and primate species. Next is the Asia section, which is home to orangutans, white-cheeked gibbons, and Asian small-clawed otters. And to finish off “Tropic World,” the final section is Africa--which is home to animals such as colobus monkeys, Allen’s swamp monkeys, and the western lowland gorilla habitat. I don’t mind “Tropic World’s” size one bit, or the great climbing opportunities it gives its primate inhabitants. But there are a few faults with it: It looks very artificial--very unrealistic. Some foliage cover would be substantial. And two: The orangutans and gorillas need outdoor habitats in the worst way. Their current “Tropic World” homes would be fine for winter, but definitely not as a permanent home as they have been for decades. Thirdly, the path should not go all the way around the gorilla habitat. I do not like that design at all. Part 2 of my review/Wall of text coming, eventually! Thanks for reading guys!