Franklin Park Zoo

African Pygmy Falcon Chicks Hatch at Franklin Park Zoo

Falcon chicks ages 12 and 7 days old - credit Sarah Woodruff

Two tiny African Pygmy Falcon chicks hatched on February 3 and February 8 are being hand-reared at the Franklin Park Zoo in Massachusetts.

Falcon chicks ages 13 and 8 days old - credit Sarah Woodruff

African pygmy falcon chicks, ages 7 and 12 days old - credit Jess Horens...
Photo Credits: Sarah Woodruff (1,2);  Jess Horens (3)


While the zoo staff always prefers to have baby animals raised by their parents, the staff feared the chicks would not survive without intervention.  The parents’ behavior during incubation showed that they would not have the skills to raise their chicks, so the eggs were placed in an incubator.   

Like any baby bird, raising African Pygmy Falcon chicks is extremely time-consuming.  In the first week after hatching, the staff fed the small birds six to seven times a day. Each week, the number of daily feedings decreases as the birds consume more food at each meal. By 24 to 26 days old, the birds will be able to feed themselves. 

“It takes a very dedicated effort to raise these tiny falcons,” said Fred Beall, Zoo New England General Curator. “We have had great success with this species at Franklin Park Zoo and are one of only a few zoos in North America that is successfully breeding African Pygmy Falcons. These hatches are a real reason to celebrate.”

Franklin Park Zoo has exhibited African Pygmy Falcons since 1999. The chicks are the offspring of a female that hatched at Franklin Park Zoo in 2012.

African Pygmy Falcons are native to the arid and semi-arid grasslands of eastern and southern Africa. These birds, which weigh less than one pound as adults, are the smallest of all African birds of prey and are about the same size as an American Robin.  

Little Roo Joey For Franklin Park Zoo!


Franklin Park Zoo has a new addition - a Red Kangaroo joey! The joey is approximately six months old and began to poke its head out of its mother’s pouch a few weeks ago. Kangaroo babies are born after a very short 30 to 35 day gestation and are about the size of a jelly bean. Joeys begin to emerge from the pouch for short periods at around 190 days. They will feed from the mother for up to a year, but at about eight months will start to try solid food.


Photo credits: Sarah Woodruff / Franklin Park Zoo

The joey, whose sex is not yet known, was born to mother Skippy, age 6, and father Binowee (an Aboriginal word meaning “green place”), age 4. The birth marks the first joey at Franklin Park Zoo since 2005.

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The Red Panda Party Don't Stop!


The Red Panda explosion of late has us wondering: Will the lesser Panda party ever stop? Is that confetti in this little cub's mouth? Regardless, you can't have enough Red Panda babies in your life, so break out the streamers, it's Panda time once again! This pair was born at Franklin Park Zoo on July 4 to Stella Luna, age 6, and Yang, age 5. The typical gestation period for Red Pandas is about 134 days, and females give birth to one to four cubs. Born helpless and with eyes closed, the cubs stay in the nest box with their mother for about the first 90 days. The twins are expected to be on public view sometime in this month. Party on!




Photo credits: Franklin Park Zoo

UPDATE: Western Lowland Gorilla Growing Up!


Nearing her one year birthday,Western Lowland Gorilla baby Kambiri is thriving at the Franklin Park Zoo. Mom Kiki and Dad Kitombe did an excellent job in raising her. The baby, born November 3 inside Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest, was originally featured on during her first well-baby visit to the vet. She was found to be very healthy then and it shows! We thought you'd like to see her and wish her happy birthday.

She's now eating leafy greens with the baby teeth that are starting to come in, playing with her blanket and dozing against mom.





Photo Credit:Don Crasco

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Baby Bongo Born at Franklin Park Zoo


A bongo calf, the offspring of Annakiya, age 7, and Junior, age 5, was born on exhibit at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA, on June 15, before the Zoo opened to the public. The gender has not yet been determined. Mom Annakiya was also born at the Zoo and the calf can be seen on exhibit with her.

“The baby has been observed nursing and is moving around, which are very positive signs. As with all new births, we will closely monitor the mother and baby,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, adding, “This is not only an exciting birth for the zoo, but it is also a significant one. This calf will join the rest of our animals in delighting visitors and highlighting the importance of protecting natural habitats around the world.”

Bongo CD 4

Bongo CD 2

Bongo CD CU
 Photo Credit: Photo 1 Sarah Woodruff, Photo 2-4 Christina Demetrio

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It's a Girl (Gorilla) for Franklin Park Zoo!

It’s another girl for Western Lowland Gorillas Kiki and Kitombe! The baby, born November 3 inside Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest, received her first well-baby examination by the Zoo’s veterinary staff this morning at which time her gender was confirmed. During the examination, the baby was separated from her mother so the veterinary staff could weigh her and draw blood. The baby weighs 6.6 pounds and measures 18 inches long.

Baby gorilla zoo new england 1_picnik

Baby gorilla zoo new england 1_picnik

“The examination went very well. The baby is very alert and appears healthy and strong,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Director of Veterinary Services. “While we will continue to closely monitor the baby’s development, we are happy with her progress so far. Kiki is an excellent mother with a lot of experience and she is doing everything a gorilla mother should.”

Baby gorilla zoo new england 3

Baby gorilla zoo new england 3Photo credits: Franklin Park Zoo

Franklin Park Zoo is home to eight Western Lowland Gorillas, including the baby, and all reside inside the Tropical Forest. ZNE 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 are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species, like these critically endangered Gorillas. Kiki’s pregnancy was the result of a recommended breeding by the SSP.

Rare Baby Skeksis Born at Franklin Park Zoo!

On February 18th, the Franklin Park Zoo welcomed the birth of a highly endangered Skeksis hatchling. This birth marks the first baby for proud parents Aughra and Fizzgig. Once plentiful in the Thra Valley and adjacent mountains, Skeksis are now extinct in the wild and only ten remain in captivity. Known for their characteristic whimper, Skeksis are happiest when feasting on podling essence or when keepers treat them to roast nebrey.

Baby skeksis vulturus chick franklin park zoo 1

Photo credit: Franklin Park Zoo

Audio of an adult skeksis shrill call