News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
July 5, 2022                                 
Statement from the Chicago Zoological Society

Brookfield, Ill. – This afternoon at approximately 5:15 p.m., West Central Dispatch received a call from a crisis intervention line from a caller stating she was going to do harm to herself and guests at Brookfield Zoo. The call was sent to Brookfield and Riverside police departments, who responded immediately.

Brookfield Zoo has its own Police Department on site and at that time the zoo issued a shelter in place to all staff and guests. Officers and authorities from several neighboring jurisdictions arrived at the zoo and assisted to methodically and thoroughly begin clearing the public and behind-the-scenes areas in the park.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., an all-clear was given. Police officers and remaining staff departed safely from the park.

“Our main priority is the safety of our guests, staff, and animals,” said Chief Mike Pendola, chief of police for the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo. “We regularly conduct training exercises at the zoo with neighboring police jurisdictions. We are extremely grateful for the partnership and incredible collective response we received to this situation. We find comfort in knowing that our well-trained police officers and partners provide for a very safe environment at Brookfield Zoo.”

A multi-jurisdictional investigation is ongoing.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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