Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo
The Chicago Zoological Society, a private, non-for-profit corporation, was founded in 1921, with this mission: The foundation, maintenance, and control of Zoological Parks or Gardens and other collections; the promotion of Zoological and kindred subjects; the instruction and recreation of the people; the collection, holding, and expenditure of funds for zoological research and publication; the protection of wild life and kindred purposes. The modern mission is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.
The Society manages the Chicago Zoological Park (known worldwide as the Brookfield Zoo) located in Chicago's western suburbs. The land and facilities of the 216-acre zoological park are owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Zoo serves two million guests annually and is accessible by public transportation and is approximately a -hour drive from Chicagos downtown loop area. The Society employs over 450 full-time employees and, during its peak season, hires 1,000-1,200 seasonal workers.
From its very beginning, the Chicago Zoological Society has been a leader in shaping the way zoological institutions around the world have changed, especially with its early focus on public education, research, and protection of wildlife, well beyond the boundaries of Chicagoland. Recognizing the need for people to develop sustainable relationships with nature, the Society has continued to evolve as a conservation center for the public and has engaged in extensive conservation, research and education programs around the world.