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Brookfield Zoo Past, Present, and Future of Elephants in Chicago

Discussion in 'United States' started by pachyderm pro, 12 Nov 2016.

  1. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    Ah elephants, the forefront in the battle against zoos. Back in the day, people said you cant call yourself a zoo, if you don't have elephants. Most of the general public does still think this statement. However sense the late 1900s, over 30 US zoos have phased out elephants. This includes my 2 home zoos. Brookfield, and Lincoln park. Brookfield made the decision to phase out elephants in 2010 when their last cow was sent elsewhere. and Lincoln park sense 2005. So lets take a look at the past, present, and future of the elephants of the windy city.

    Past- Lincoln park first exhibited elephants in the early 1900s. The zoo held both Asian and African elephants in the large mammal house. It was a awful cramped concrete exhibit with no realism at all. This all changed in 2003 when The new African Journey exhibit opened. This included 2 decent exhibits for African elephants. The inhabitants Included a trio of African females, Tatima, Peaches and Wankie. However there time in this exhibit was short. Tatima, and Peaches passed away in 2004. Wankie passed away in May 2005 while on his way to the Hogle zoo. The zoo has not have held the pachyderms sense.

    Brookfield has had elephants ever sense the grand opening in 1934. It held about 5 Asian elephants, including the big bull, Ziggy. Ziggy arrived at the zoo after he outgrew his pen at the Zigfeild mansion, Where mr, Zigfield bought the pachyderm for his daughters birthday. He then spent a few years in the circus were he hurled a tuba player to his death. When he arrived at the zoo he lived the normal zoo elephant life. Until he nearly killed a keeper and was kept inside in a stall for 30 years! However money was raised and the elephant enclosure was expanded, which gave Ziggy a new bull yard. Sadly, he fell into a moat separating him from visitors. They got him out, but he died 7 months later. The zoo has not held a bull sense. The zoo recently had 3 elephants. Most noticeable is Affie. She was a female African elephant who lived with Christy, another young female. Every year the people of Chicago celebrated her birthday. Sadly, Affie passed away in 2009 at the age of just 39. To get Christy a companion, the zoo brought in a young female named Joyce. The elephant yard had been renovated adding new enrichment to the yard. Sadly, Christy passed away a few months later due to kidney failure. Joyce was alone for a year until she was sent back to were she came. The zoo quickly assured that elephants would return in a expanded habitat in the pachyderm house with a new indoor exhibit... This plan was cancelled due to funding.

    Present- Today, neither zoos have talked about any plans to bring elephants back. Currently both zoos have used the old yards to house black rhinos. Camels where held in the old yard in Lincoln park for a little bit as well.

    Future- Lincoln park will most likely never hold elephants again. The zoo is small, and land locked. Brookfield is a different story however. The zoo is working on bringing elephants back, although no plans have been made as of now. What I hope is that Brookfield pulls the Omaha card and after a few years without elephants, builds a huge wonderful exhibit for them that can house a family herd. So then, What are your ideas on how elephants can return? News might break soon, due to a sudden addition of elephant statues near the giraffe yard. Trust me, when it does, I'm making a extremely over the top post on the Brookfield zoo news thread. I also want this thread to be a news feed for the return of elephants. I guess only time will tell, and enjoy this thread for news, and please share your ideas.
     
  2. GraysonDP

    GraysonDP Well-Known Member

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    Brookfield has actually long said they plan on bringing elephants back to the zoo. I talked to a few employees about it when I visited in 2015 and they said there are plans to build an elephant complex on undeveloped land in the property but that it will probably take awhile to happen.
     
  3. GraysonDP

    GraysonDP Well-Known Member

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    Also I'm sorry but the yards for the elephants in Regenstein African Journey were in no way decent. They were much too small and ordinary and were outdated before they opened.
     
  4. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    @pachyderm pro : Since, not sense.

    I agree that Lincoln Park will never hold elephants again. The trend is towards large exhibits, LPZ is locked in by development with nowhere to expand, and it already seems to be focusing on other projects.

    I do believe that elephants will come to Brookfield again in the future, but since there has been somewhat of a hiatus on development there in the last few years, I don't see it happening for a long time (as GraysonDP suggested).

    The real question, though: when is the Shedd going to finally add elephants? :D
     
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  5. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    What I meant was an exhibit has not been designed or named in any way, but the zoo is working to bring back elephants.

    I suppose you are right. They looked decent but were much to cramped.

    HA! Imagine that, a aquarium with elephants. That would be kinda cool though.
     
  6. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Anybody who wants more details about the elephant "Ziggy" should read the book "I Loved Rogues: The Life of an Elephant Tramp" (George "Slim" Lewis; 1978).
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2016
  7. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    What would the exhibit be like?
     
  8. wilson

    wilson Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago the zoo came out with a masterplan that included an all new elephant exhibit. This obviously never became a reality. Years later signs were placed in the Pachyderm building with new plans. The new plans included using the existing Pachyderm building. The elephant exhibit would of been the old elephant exhibit along with the rhino exhibits. The rhinos would of switched sides to the hippo/Tapir side of the building. The inside of the Pachyderm building would of been remolded as well. This also never became a reality. I'd love for Brookfield to have elephants again, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon.
     
  9. Kessler Tripp-Wallace

    Kessler Tripp-Wallace New Member

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    In terms of Lincoln Park getting elephants again, they've stated, & I quote, "we never say never but it's not in our planning right now." I'm saying never for them!

    Now Brookfield zoo actually have a few ways they can go about getting elephants back. The old bear grotto exhibit can be knocked down & used as a landscape for a new elephant exhibit.
     
  10. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    There is NO WAY that they will use bear grotto land as an elephant exhibit, It is much to small and narrow. The current plan is to use the current hoofstock paddocks and undeveloped land behind them.
     
  11. Kessler Tripp-Wallace

    Kessler Tripp-Wallace New Member

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    Even if they knock it down? A while back, a worker told me that the zoo isn't getting elephants.