Powering the Scenes at the Franklin Park Zoo

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Think you know what goes on at the Franklin Park Zoo? Very well, assume yet again, our giraffe-loving pals. On the eve of a brand-new exhibit opening, we go behind the scenes with the true MVPs who make all of all those Insta pictures achievable.


Image by Michael Prince

It’s a warm spring working day at the Franklin Park Zoo, and everyone—animals and individuals alike—is basking in the late-afternoon solar. At last poking their heads out from their winterized barn, three Masai giraffes strut around their enclosure, eagerly nibbling mulberry browse out of a zookeeper’s hand. A two-yr-previous red panda scampers about for the duration of an enrichment session. The grounds crew bustle in and out of Gorilla Grove, putting the ending touches on the manufacturer-new outdoor primate habitat. And there is a palpable energy in the air as Franklin Park and its sister facility, the Stone Zoo, completely ready them selves for a different report-breaking spring and summer time period: In between the two places, Zoo New England welcomed 1.1 million site visitors in 2021, and observed membership mature by 60 percent in just one particular yr.

Managing the stream of men and women who stroll the grounds every single day, of system, is just a single aspect of what it takes to work the 72-acre Franklin Park place. “It’s nearly like a little town,” states John Linehan, the zoo’s president and CEO. There’s a lot more than 500 kilos of food stuff to be well prepared in the commissary kitchen every single working day landscaping and gardening to be accomplished (all of that grass in the giraffe savannah does not slice itself) and important clinical treatment to be administered in the on-site animal healthcare facility. But the coronary heart of it all, according to Linehan, is the zookeepers: “We have individuals who have devoted their life to [the animals] and made actual associations with them. It is based mostly on trust.”

Households dropping by on a sunny afternoon really don’t observe any of that, of class. They just get to observe and join with animals they just cannot see wherever else. And that’s precisely how Linehan and the employees want it. “One detail about the zoo is that we care deeply,” suggests Linehan, who notes that the group also does a lot of crucial conservation function off web page, from enlisting young ones to elevate turtles in area lecture rooms to partaking rangers to guard gorillas in Nigeria. “We really do not have the animals so that people can be entertained. We want them to appear away with an appreciation and heightened empathy.”

Picture by Michael Prince

Two-year-old red panda Gimli takes a break from a coaching session.

Photo by Michael Prince

John Linehan (correct) and chief working officer Bob Chabot get inventory of the museum’s latest exhibit, Gorilla Grove, in advance of the primates make on their own at household.

Photo by Michael Prince

Senior zookeeper Kirsten Everett receives completely ready to provide a fish to Eve, a 50-yr-outdated widespread cooter (she has to hand-feed Eve, or the ducks in the habitat will steal her foods).

Picture by Michael Prince

Maxine, a two-toed sloth, digs into some greens on her hanging feeding system.

Photograph by Michael Prince

Senior commissary keeper John Schaechter preps meals for a spouse and children of De Brazza’s monkeys.

Photograph by Michael Prince

Senior zookeeper Nicole Hellmuth checks the paw of Anala, a 17-yr-aged woman tiger, whilst featuring a address. Instruction sessions like these enable the care team to administer vaccines, draw blood, and keep track of Anala’s in general well being.

Picture by Michael Prince

Picture by Michael Prince

Dr. Eric Baitchman examines a marble teal with an support from vet tech Jess Honeywell at the on-web site clinic.

Image by Michael Prince

Photograph by Michael Prince

The animal was put beneath anesthesia so the staff could consider radiographs and figure out the induce of her limp.

Photo by Michael Prince

Photo by Michael Prince / Image by Michael Prince

A hadada ibis and ring-tailed lemur hold out inside the zoo’s Tropical Forest making.