Franklin Park Zoo

Joyful Arrival: Welcoming the Newest Masai Giraffe Calf at Franklin Park Zoo!

Franklin Park Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a Masai giraffe calf.

Born on July 14, the male calf stands at 6 feet tall and weighs 184 pounds. Within an hour of his birth, the calf was standing and nursing from mom, Amari. The day after the birth, the Zoo’s veterinary team examined the newborn calf, which included bloodwork and a physical exam.

“He is a strong, healthy calf and appears bright and alert,” said Dr. Chris Bonar, Zoo New England Director of Animal Health. “As with any newborn, he will be closely monitored by his care team as he continues to grow and reach milestones.”

Continue reading "Joyful Arrival: Welcoming the Newest Masai Giraffe Calf at Franklin Park Zoo!" »

Pablo The 11-Month-Old Western Lowland Gorilla Receives Routine Vet Check At Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo

11-month-old western lowland gorilla Pablo recently underwent an exam requiring anesthesia at Franklin Park Zoo’s Hospital in Boston. Baby gorillas typically have their first routine exam around this age to make sure that they’re strong and healthy. All went well with the exam, which included bloodwork, radiographs, weight (just over 19 pounds!), and a general check-up on Pablo’s body condition.

The youngest member of the FPZ troop is looking great and growing like a gorilla tot should! Pablo had a smooth recovery and was reunited with mom, Kiki, right away following the exam. The pair were back on exhibit with the rest of the gorilla troop the next day. Thanks to the dedicated team for making sure that everything went safely for all involved!

Zoo New England Celebrates A Trio Of Tiny Faces With Spring Births

Fluffy, spiked, and ready to delight: three new faces at Zoo New England are small in stature but big in the cute factor. The arrival of two scaly-sided merganser ducklings at Franklin Park Zoo and a prehensile-tailed porcupette at Stone Zoo have given Zoo staff and guests alike reason to celebrate this spring.

Prehensile-tailed porcupette - Courtney Hamm Senior Keeper (3)

Continue reading "Zoo New England Celebrates A Trio Of Tiny Faces With Spring Births" »

Kiwi chick hatches for first time at Franklin Park Zoo

On December 28, a tiny new feathered face greeted the staff at Franklin Park Zoo. The hatch of the male kiwi chick was a first for this species at the Zoo.

Since his hatch, the young chick has been strong and thriving. Staff has observed him preening his long brown feathers, and probing his beak into the ground in search of insects, both natural behaviors for kiwis. He is already eating an adult diet consisting of a mixture of vegetables, including corn, carrots and string beans, and meat.

Kiwi Day 4 - 5
Kiwi Day 4 - 5
Kiwi Day 4 - 5

“We are very pleased with the growth of the chick so far. With all newly hatched birds, you want to make sure that the legs are not splayed, or in an abnormal position. He has nice strong legs in a good stance and has become more active with each day,” said Dr. Brianne Phillips, Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian. “As with any new chick, we are continuing to monitor him closely, but so far he is doing well.”

Continue reading "Kiwi chick hatches for first time at Franklin Park Zoo" »

Tapir Twins Update

Major milestone for Franklin Park Zoo's little female – she successfully reunited with mom, Abby, this week! The calf was seen nursing within hours – even gaining weight since the intro – and Abby has been acting like the wonderful seasoned mom that she is. The pair will remain behind the scenes to continue bonding before making an exhibit debut. The male tapir calf remains at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, receiving around-the-clock care.
Follow FPZ:

Tapir Tot Update!

Franklin Park Zoo’s tiny duo continues to make progress. They’re happy to report that the female calf has been doing well enough that she was able to return from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to Franklin Park Zoo this week, where she and mom, Abby, have visual access to each other.

She has been acclimating well, and staff is monitoring her health and progress very closely, day and night. The goal is to physically reunite Abby and the calf as soon as it’s safe to do so. The male calf is making incremental improvements, and remains in an oxygen enclosure at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University where he continues to receive around-the-clock care.

Because the twins were born developmentally premature, their bone development has a ways to go before they can be fully active. The female will receive radiographs weekly to monitor her development and determine when she’s ready for increased exercise and a reunion with Abby, before they make an exhibit debut together – likely several weeks away still. More on the twins’ story at

Baby gorilla delivered via C-section at Franklin Park Zoo


On October 14, a multidisciplinary team of veterinarians and physicians successfully delivered a male gorilla baby via Cesarean section at the Franklin Park Zoo.


In the days leading up to the delivery, Kiki, a 39-year-old western lowland gorilla, experienced vaginal bleeding, which at times was significant. With Kiki’s due date just days away, the veterinary team at Zoo New England became concerned that she may have placenta previa, a condition where the placenta lies over the entrance to the cervix, blocking the path for delivery of the baby.

At 4:00 p.m. on October 14, the Zoo New England veterinary team, along with specialists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, performed an ultrasound on Kiki and quickly confirmed that she did have placenta previa. The Animal Care and veterinary teams transported Kiki to the Zoo Hospital on grounds at Franklin Park Zoo and prepped her for surgery, which once underway went quickly and smoothly.

At 6:35 p.m., the 6 pound, 3 ounce gorilla infant was delivered. He’s a big baby, as gorilla infants typically weigh 3-5 pounds, and is the first male gorilla ever born at Franklin Park Zoo.

“For the health of mom and baby, it was imperative to quickly diagnose Kiki’s condition and perform a C-section before she went into labor on her own. We were fortunate to quickly mobilize an amazing team with our colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Vice President of Animal Health and Conservation. “This was truly a team effort, and we are relieved and happy that the surgery went smoothly and that mom and baby are both safe and healthy.”

Zoo New England’s veterinary and animal care teams were assisted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital obstetricians Dr. Julian Robinson, Dr. Thomas McElrath, Dr. Sara Rae Easter, Dr. James Greenberg, and RN Monique Williams, Brigham & Women’s Hospital neonatologists Dr. Linda Van Marter and Dr. Elizabeth Flanigan, and veterinary anesthesiologist Dr. Emily McCobb and veterinary anesthesia resident Dr. Emily Wheeler from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

Following the delivery, Kiki recovered from surgery while the baby was cared for by Zoo staff where Kiki was close enough to see and hear the baby. The pair were successfully reunited the following afternoon on October 15, and Kiki has been very attentive, holding the baby close. Mother and baby have bonded well and continue to be closely monitored and cared for behind the scenes. For news on when they will make their exhibit debut, please check our website or follow us on social media.

Zoo New England is an active participant in the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild. Kiki’s pregnancy was the result of a recommended breeding by the SSP with her mate Kitombe, affectionately known as Kit. Kiki has previously given birth to four female gorillas – her youngest two reside at Franklin Park Zoo, while her oldest two reside at other AZA-accredited zoos per breeding recommendations.

Western lowland gorillas are considered critically endangered in the wild. Western gorillas, found in the countries of Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Angola, and Central African Republic, are divided into the Cross River and western lowland subspecies. Both are considered critically endangered. Threats to gorillas vary geographically and western gorillas are primarily threatened by disease and the bushmeat trade.

Zoo New England has been a longtime supporter of gorilla conservation, devoting passion, expertise and resources to the preservation of this iconic species. Zoo New England is currently supporting a project to protect Cross-river gorillas in the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary in Nigeria. Here at home, Zoo New England participates in the Eco-Cell recycling program, an initiative which partners with zoos across the country to collect recycled cell phones and refurbish them for reuse. This reduces the need for coltan mining, which causes the destruction of endangered gorilla habitats.

It's a Boy! Franklin Park Zoo Welcomes Tiny Pygmy Hippo


Say hello to Franklin Park Zoo's tiny new addition: a male pygmy hippo 💚 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This adorable little calf was born on October 5 and his arrival marks the first ever successful birth of this endangered species for Zoo New England! Years of careful work, planning, and dedication by our animal care and veterinary staff contributed to this birth. Zoo New England participates in the Pygmy Hippo Species Survival Plan, and each new birth contributes to the continued survival of this species. Thanks to the wonderful training program between Cleo and her care team, our staff was able to monitor her throughout her pregnancy via ultrasound. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Baby will be bonding with Mom, Cleo, behind-the-scenes before making his exhibit debut, so stay tuned for updates! Learn more at: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#Hippo #PygmyHippo #EndangeredSpecies #SavingSpecies #FPZoo #FranklinParkZoo #ZooNewEngland #BabyAnimals #CuteOverload #ZooBorns #repostios #repostw10

Baird’s tapir twins make history at Franklin Park Zoo


On September 29, the day that Franklin Park Zoo’s animal care staff had been so eagerly awaiting finally arrived: Abby, a Baird’s tapir, gave birth to two beautiful calves, a male and a female.

While twins are an incredibly rare occurrence in all tapir species, this pair of “tapir tots,” as they are affectionately referred to by staff, is believed to be a first for Baird’s tapirs as we can find no record of this occurring previously in zoos or in the wild.

The animal care and veterinary team are thrilled that the two calves were safely delivered, after a long and arduous day that showcased incredible teamwork and commitment to care. When Abby’s water broke at 9:30 a.m. but contractions did not follow, it became clear that veterinary staff would need to intervene. After several hours of efforts to stimulate contractions, the decision was made to anesthetize Abby so that the zoo’s veterinary team could assist in delivering the calves. The anesthesia was challenging, but once it took effect, the twins were delivered manually. The male came first, then the female followed shortly after, accompanied by a scare when a heartbeat was not readily detected. Thankfully, she recovered quickly with resuscitation and both calves were soon up, alert, and taking their tiny first steps. Abby also recovered very well from the procedure.

Throughout Abby’s 13-month gestation, the veterinary and animal care teams conducted regular transabdominal ultrasounds to monitor the twins’ development. Our veterinary staff felt very well prepared throughout this unique pregnancy, thanks in large part to transdisciplinary collaboration and consultation between physicians and veterinarians from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

“Tuesday was one of the most challenging and rewarding days of my veterinary career,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Vice President of Animal Care and Conservation. “We planned extensively for different scenarios with the twins, and are overjoyed that both twins were delivered safely and that Abby is doing well. While we are cautiously optimistic, the first few days are critical for these twins and we are monitoring them around the clock. Our veterinary and animal care teams are doing everything we can to ensure the best chances for their survival.”

The twins had their first check-up yesterday and weigh just under 10 pounds each, which is approximately half the weight of a newborn tapir singleton. At this time the twins are separated from their mom Abby, as we want to make sure they are feeding well, are strong and have good glucose stores before they are reintroduced. Abby has visual access to her twins, and the plan is to reunite them very soon. The care team is staying around the clock as the twins require a bottle feeding every two hours. Right now, they are consuming 15-20% of their body weight daily, which is continually adjusted based on weight gain or loss.

This 24-hour monitoring is nothing new to the dedicated team. Because Abby’s pregnancy was considered high risk and there was a chance that the calves would be premature, staff monitored the cameras night and day throughout the past month in case she went into labor early.

Mom and babies will spend some time bonding behind the scenes before making their exhibit debut in the Tropical Forest. Those interested in visiting should follow along on the Zoo’s website and social media pages for the most up to date information on the #TapirTotTwins.

ZNE participates in the Baird’s Tapir Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild. Abby has previously given birth to four healthy calves, each of whom resides at other AZA accredited institutions per breeding recommendations by the SSP. This pregnancy is the result of a recommended breeding between Abby and her late mate Milton. When Milton passed away at age 30 last year, he was the oldest Baird’s tapir within the AZA managed population.

An endangered species, Baird’s tapirs are the largest land mammal found in South America. Baird’s tapir calves are noted for their furry coat covered in spots and stripes, which helps to camouflage them in the dappled light of the forest. The spots and stripes fade at about six months as their coat darkens.

Zoo New England is committed to Baird’s tapir conservation and partners with the Baird’s Tapir Survival Alliance to protect Baird’s tapirs in Central America. While these animals are hunted for food and sport, their greatest threat to survival is habitat destruction due to logging and clearing of land for agriculture and development. In addition to humans, jaguars are the only other significant threat to this animal’s survival in the wild.