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Day Trip — Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo

  • PHOTO COURTESY FRANKLIN ZOO<br/>A bongo and calf
  • PHOTO COURTESY FRANKLIN ZOO<br/>A bongo and calf
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANKLIN ZOO<br/>A ring-tailed lemur holding baby twins

When was the last time you saw an eastern black-and-white Colobus monkey, a bongo calf or a Caribbean flamingo chick? Or how about a gorilla or lion? Some mammals and birds are rarer than others in the Northeast, and the rarest of those can be found at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and its sister facility, Stone Zoo in Stoneham.

Both zoos feature animals from specific parts of the world: Franklin Park Zoo has wildlife from Africa, Stone Zoo an assortment of Australian creatures. Both facilities have also seen recent additions. Franklin Park Zoo, for instance, recently welcomed Alani and Kannu, 14-month-old warthog sisters. You can find them in the Serengeti Crossing exhibit, alongside wildebeests, ostriches and a Grant’s Zebra foal. In addition to the baby zebra, a bongo calf and two ring-tailed lemur twins are also new to Franklin Park.

Stone Zoo has many animals from Down Under such as the koala bear, Kookabuarra birds, tawny frogmouth owls and colorful budgie bids. As well, two Colobus monkeys were born there just a day apart from each other in late June, marking the species’ first successful birth at the zoo in 25 years. Stone Zoo has also been a fertile breeding ground for Caribbean flamingos: The six new chicks born last month are part of 87 successful hatches since 1994.

Under the umbrella of Zoo New England, both zoos participate in Species Survival Programs (SSPs), established in 1981 as a cooperative, multi-institutional population management and conservation program in which the two facilities share information to ensure the health and stability of their animals.

Both zoos are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Franklin Park admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors 62 and older, and $11 for children ages 2 to 12. Stone Zoo admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors 62 and over, and $10 for children ages 2 to 12. Admission is free for children under 2 and for zoo members.

For more information, visit www.zoonewengland.org or call (617) 541-5466.

Directions to Franklin Park Zoo: Take the MassPike approximately 87 miles east, then take exit 22 toward the Prudential Center/Copley Square. Bear right at the fork, following signs for the Prudential Center, and merge onto Huntington Avenue. Turn left onto Parker Street, left again onto Ruggles Street, then right onto Tremont Street. Continue onto Columbus Avenue and then Seaver Street, then turn right onto Blue Hill Avenue. Take the first right from there onto Franklin Park Road; the zoo will be on the right.

Directions to Stone Zoo from Franklin Park: Head southwest on Franklin Park Road, turning left to stay on the route. Turn left onto Blue Hill Avenue, then right onto Columbia Road; turn right to stay on Columbia. At the traffic circle, take the fourth exit to stay on Columbia Road, then turn right to merge onto I-93 north toward Boston. After 11 miles, take exit 34 to merge onto MA-28 toward Stoneham. Turn right onto South Street and continue onto Pond Street. The zoo will be on your right.

— Marc E. Latour

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