South America Habitats and Building Opening

The highly anticipated South America habitats and building will open to the public June 22. Building construction for the $1.1 million project was completed as planned in April, funded by an Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant, the Miller Park Zoological Society, and the Ewing Zoo Foundation.

We know everyone will love “Puddles” the Chilean pudu and “Chili” the giant anteater, both of whom have already stolen the hearts of staff. The giant tortoises will move to their new habitat before the “official” opening, so look for our friends “Gala” and “Pagos” in their new home.

The Zoo will be hosting a series of events to celebrate the opening:

  • Thursday June 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm: VIP and Dignitary Ribbon-cutting Ceremony.
  • Friday June 23, 2023 at 9 am: Media early access.
  • Friday June 23, 2023 at 9:30 am: South America habitats are officially open to all visitors!
  • Saturday June 24, 8:30 am: Zoo Member early access. The Zoo will open its doors at 8:30 am to Miller Park Zoological Society Members. Members will have full access to view the new habitats and animals for an hour before the regular opening hours at 9:30 am. The morning event will include refreshments and keeper talks. (The Zoo will also close at 1 pm this day in preparation for the annual “Brews at the Zoo” event).