Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo to welcome koalas for 1st time ever

Chicago-area residents have long been able to see animals of all kinds from across the world at the 90-year-old Brookfield Zoo, but new history is being made at the suburban landmark.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, the zoo will welcome koalas for the first time in its 90-year history as two 2-year-old marsupials, Brumby and William, will be at the Hamill Family Play Zoo beginning Friday.

The koalas made their way to Brookfield Zoo thanks to a partnership with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and San Diego Zoo’s Koala Education and Conservation Project.

Brookfield Zoo is now one just 11 accredited zoological facilities in North America where the public can see and engage with koalas.

The zoo notes that koalas are one of only a few animals that eat eucalyptus leaves, which are very poisonous to most other animals.

With the addition of the koalas, Brookfield Zoo will receive a rotation of different species of fresh eucalyptus leaves twice a week for Brumby and William.

The leaves' high level of toxicity is a primary reason behind the sleeping habits of koalas, who have specialized gut bacteria that breaks down the poisonous leaves while the animals conserve their energy.

Those interested in getting to meet the zoo's newest residents can find out more information here.

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