Brookfield Zoo's Bear Awareness Week goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

BROOKFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- If Brookfield Zoo was open, animal care specialists and volunteers would be engaging guests in a variety of bear-themed activities during its annual Bear Awareness celebration.

However, since the zoo is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is going virtual in a BEAR-y big way with live chats, videos, and fun activities to do at home.

Throughout the week of May 17, bear lovers of all ages can learn about the zoo's three species of bears-polar bears, Alaskan brown bears, and sloth bears.

On Tuesday, May 19, you can tune into the zoo's "Bringing the Zoo to You" Facebook Live chat starting at 11:00 a.m. to find out about the Alaskan brown bear brothers, Jim and Axhi. In the afternoon, the zoo will host an Instagram live chat at 2:00 p.m. featuring the zoo's nutritionist, who will present the diets of all the bears, including Hudson and Nan, the zoo's two polar bears.

On Thursday May 21, viewers can tune into Facebook Live at 11:00 a.m., to see the sloth bears interacting with their wobble tree and learn the different ways they use their sense of smell.

Those who are unable to tune in at the scheduled times, can watch all the chats on the zoo's Youtube channel and Facebook page.

Additionally during the week, other pre-recorded videos will be posted on the zoo's social media channels that highlight how the bears are cared for at Brookfield Zoo, the threats and concerns bears face in the wild, and some fun facts that showcase the bears' personalities.

Fun activities|

Kids can download bear-centrric "I Scienced" At-Home activity sheets, both in English and Spanish.
Coloring pages featuring polar bears and brown bears are also available to download as well as three different bear masks. Kids can color one or all of the masks, cut them out, and then tape a string to each one to wear around their own local wilderness.

For more information visit Brookfield Zoo's website at
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