Cosley Zoo is always working to provide new points of interest for our guests to visit. Check this page often, as we anticipate many exciting additions in the next few months.
September 25: New to the Zoo - African Pygmy Hedgehogs!
Cosley Zoo is pleased to welcome the newest additions to our zoo collection! In August 2013, the zoo acquired two male four-toed hedgehogs, also known as African Pygmy Hedgehogs. Both "hoglets" [baby hedgehogs] were only 10 weeks old when they arrived at the zoo. Hedgehogs are easily identifiable by their spines, which are actually made up of stiff hollow hairs.
Since arriving at the zoo, both hoglets have received a lot of individual attention from zookeepers. It’s crucial that the zookeepers socialize them at a young age and get them used to being handled by a variety of people since they will ultimately be used in educational programs. After getting to know both hoglets, zoo staff decided to name them Harry and Houdini. Houdini acquired his name due to his slightly more timid nature. This resulted in him hiding very effectively by camouflaging himself in pine shavings and other enrichment items in his exhibit. Harry acquired his name due to the presence of stiff hollow hairs that cover the majority of a hedgehog's body. His name also provides a play on words to his non-traditional "hairy" appearance.
On September 11, 2013, Harry made his television debut on a segment featuring Cosley Zoo entitled "Spotlight on Naperville" on Naperville Community Channel 17.
Since hedgehogs are non-native to Illinois, Harry and Houdini are not on display to the public, but they can be found in the animal education room [located in the Vern Kiebler barn], and will be available for educational programs soon!
With spring right around the corner, Cosley Zoo is pleased to welcome several new bird species to the zoo! Like most of the zoo’s wildlife, these birds were obtained from rehabilitation facilities because they sustained previous injuries.
The zoo’s first new arrival is a Great Blue Heron that we received in January 2013. It is non-releasable due to a previous jaw fracture and a break to one of its wings. These tall, long-legged birds are the largest and the most common of North American heron species. The next new addition to the zoo is a Blue Jay who also arrived at the zoo in January 2013. It sustained previous damage to its wing, and as a result it has a hard time maintaining flight. These birds are beautifully colored, and have several very distinct, piercing calls.
Lastly, Cosley Zoo acquired a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. It experienced a previous wing injury, and consequently has very limited flight capability. Rose-breasted grosbeaks are a dimorphic species, meaning that the male and female have distinctly different physical appearances. Males have a black head, throat, back, wings, and tail that contrast with a gleaming white underbelly and rump. They get their name from a conspicuous bright rosy pink patch on their breast. Females on the other hand are mainly brown with streaks, and are paler below with extensive dark streaking and yellow wing linings.
Be sure to check out these new birds in our aviary on your next visit to the zoo!
Just in time for Christmas, Cosley Zoo offers the perfect stocking stuffer that’s ideal for any animal lover. The animals themselves have become the artists, and in our gift shop you can find these one-of-a-kind paintings done by various animals in our zoo collection. In order to create these paintings, zookeepers have incorporated the use of paint and a canvas as an enriching opportunity for both the animals and keepers alike. Using different color combinations of paint and different colored canvases as the background make each individual painting a true work of art! Whether the painting was completed by one of our raccoons or one of our snakes, each one offers a unique gift idea for someone special this holiday season.
The new bobcat exhibit was completed in September of 2012 thanks to the efforts of the Cosley Foundation, the Wheaton Park District, and Cosley Zoo supporters like you!
A grassroots fundraising effort to support the development of new exhibits featuring animals native to Illinois began in 2002. Thanks to the generosity and support of many donors, most notably Jan Kiebler in memory of her late husband, Vern, the Foundation collected sufficient funds to allow for the submission of an application for a matching construction grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in 2010. The grant awarded to the Cosley foundation covered $300,000 of the $580,000 price tag for the bobcat exhibit.
The two bobcats who now call Cosley Zoo home travelled to Wheaton from The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in California. The ten-year-old bobcats are brothers who had been raised by these rehabilitators for most of their lives after being found in the attic of a private residence. Because they have been living closely with humans for so long, they are not releasable into the wild.
Click here to view images of the Bobcat Exhibit under construction.
Click here to view the new Bobcat Exhibit Video as featured on Naperville Community Television Channel 17.
May 17, 2012 : Cosley Zoo Acquires New Animals:
a Cow, a Horse, and Two Donkeys, Oh My!
Cosley Zoo is very happy to announce the arrival of four new animals; a Guernsey Dairy Cow, a Norwegian Fjord Horse, and two Miniature Donkeys.
The new Guernsey Dairy Cow, Holly, is 7 years old. Holly comes from a local dairy farm where she has given birth to several calves in the past. Holly was a favorite at the dairy farm because of her friendly personality. Holly and the zoo's Angus cow, Ember have already become fast friends.
Gretchen Birka, is a 10-year old Norwegian Fjord mare (female). Gretchen comes from Northern Wisconsin where she was raised alongside many other Norwegian Fjord horses. One of the world's oldest breeds, the Norwegian Fjord is believed to have been domesticated more than 4,000 years ago. While smaller in stature, the Fjord maintains a drafty or stocky appearance which makes them very versatile and hardy. Fjords are usually a brown dun color and maintain primitive markings, which include a dorsal stripe and zebra striping on the legs.
The zoo welcomes two new miniature donkeys, Elmo and Jessie. These donkeys resided on a farm in nearby Kane County where they were raised with llamas and goats. Elmo and Jessie's exposure to other unique animals has made them feel right at home at Cosley Zoo. At 13 years of age, Elmo has experience with public settings. In the past, he spent three summers visiting Lord's Park in Elgin. While 11 year old Jessie was more of a home-body, she is already enjoying all the attention zoo visitors are lavishing on her.