Chicago Zoological Society Announces 2022 Photo Contest Winners


Last updated 9/26/2022 at 4:53pm

Haley Pendergast

Brookfield, Ill. - More than 700 photos featuring lions, capybaras, butterflies, snakes, penguins, and so many more animals were entered in the Chicago Zoological Society's 2022 Photo Contest.

A panel of professional photographers judged the photos and selected their top seven choices in the following categories: mammal, bird, and reptile/amphibian/invertebrate/fish. Additionally, they chose their top five picks from all submitted entries to be considered for the grand prize. Then, the public was asked to vote for their favorites in each of the categories. Over 6,000 votes were cast to determine this year's winners, which can be seen on the zoo's website at

Hayley Pendergast of Plainfield, won the grand prize-a Brookfield Zoo Family Plus Membership; a Penguin Encounter for two people; an original painting by Leo, the zoo's red panda; and a $100 worth of gift certificates that can be used in any of the zoo's restaurants or gift shops.

Winners in the mammal category are Luke Ciancio of Lake Barrington, first place; Mark Holzman of Hoffman Estates, second place; and Steven Tabor of Lyons, third place.

Winners in the bird category are Nathan Keck of Ottawa, first place; Makenzie Wheat of Chicago, second place; and Joseph Andalina of Naperville, third place.

Winners in the reptile/invertebrate/amphibian/fish category are Tricia Rangel of Naperville, first place; Robert Bator of Chicago, second place; and Nicholas McCarney of Sycamore, third place.

In addition to being displayed on the zoo's website, winning photos can also be seen on monitors located at the zoo's Hamill Family Nature Plaza, BZ Red Hots, Café del Sol, and Discovery Center through at least October 31, 2022.

Many of the photos entered in this year's contest will also be featured in a photo mosaic that guests can see at the Café de Sol Plaza beginning this fall. The beautiful image, featuring Whirl, the zoo's Amur tiger, is 9.5 feet high by 19.5 feet wide and was created using 26,676 1-inch by 1-inch photos.


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