Open Today: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Complete Hours



A kangaroo with her joey

Mother’s Day is special at the Milwaukee County Zoo, as all mothers receive free admission on their special day, Sunday, May 12.

The Zoo is home to a wild group of animal moms and babies this Mother’s Day. Visit our newest mom, Stella the jaguar, as she raises her two male cubs, B’alam and Zean, born to her and father, Pat, last November. Visitors may notice when the cubs become too rambunctious, Stella uses a certain vocalization that zookeepers believe roughly translates to “Settle down!” Other moms to visit include Amba, an Amur tiger, and her two offspring, as well as Kiama, a Matschie’s tree kangaroo, and her joey, Tia.

In recognition of another significant species at the Zoo, our Bornean orangutans, primate zookeepers and volunteers will host special outreach areas in the Primates of the World Building, called “Project M.O.M.” Activities are designed to raise the awareness of the perils these animals face in the wild, and the need to conserve the species.

MJ the orangutanOur Zoo partners with other zoos across North America, along with Orangutan Outreach, to present outreach activities entitled “M.O.M. – Missing Orangutan Mothers.”

Orangutan mothers and babies have an incredibly close relationship. Because of the growing demand for palm oil, more and more orangutan mothers are being killed every year in Indonesia. Their rainforest homes are being wiped out to make way for palm oil plantations – leaving hundreds of orphans.

Visit the outreach booth to learn how you can help the plight of these beautiful red apes – featuring fliers, info sheets, games, quizzes and pictures. 

New this year! See a part of the special art installation, “Person of the Forest” by New York artist, Alina Bachmann. The exhibit, designed to raise awareness of how we contribute daily to the extinction of the orangutan, consists of several large collage tree forms, some as high as 8 feet. The trees are constructed from product packaging and ingredient labels for items containing palm oil and backed with canvas.

Intertwined within the collage are inkjet prints containing facts informing viewers about how consuming these items directly impact the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, the orangutan’s only remaining home. Life-size realistic yet emotive pastel drawings are placed throughout the installation illustrating living and skeletal orangutan forms. The exhibit will be displayed at the Zoo for a limited time.

Watch MJ and Tommy interact with iPads as part of their ongoing enrichment program. These sessions will be offered at various times for visitors to watch this unique interaction, as our Zoo is one of the first to offer this technology to our animals. 

Artwork painted by our orangutans will be on display and for sale. These creative pieces made by the animals are another way our keepers work with the animals as part of enrichment. Orangutan Outreach representatives will have special T-shirts for purchase, drawing attention to the plight of wild orangutans.

See our specially-made grocery basket on display with items you can purchase on your next shopping trip. All of the items are made without palm oil. The Zoo’s Concessions Department will sell a number of items made without palm oil, and palm-oil-free candy also can be purchased at the outreach booth.

Orangutan artifacts will be featured, showing how similar these animals are to humans.

Crafts for kids include coloring a picture of an orangutan mother and baby and placing it in a display of the rainforest, symbolic of putting these endangered animals back in their natural forest habitats. Custom note cards featuring our own orangutans will be available for purchase, along with ceramic coffee mugs and plates featuring paintings by the orangs. Activities take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and proceeds benefit Orangutan Outreach.

The Zoo is open on Mother’s Day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Milwaukee County residents with I.D. receive $1.75 off regular Zoo admission. Regular Zoo admission is $14.25 for adults, $11.25 for children ages 3 to 12, $13.25 for seniors age 60 and over, and free for children 2 and under. Parking is $12.

For more details, call the Zoo’s Public Affairs and Services Division at 414.256.5466.