Gorillas Adjusting to New Gorilla Grove at Franklin Park Zoo

After many years of not being able to go outside, the gorillas of Franklin Park Zoo now have access to the outdoors thanks to the brand new Gorilla Grove, which opened in April. The gorillas have access to Gorilla Grove daily, starting between 9 and 10 am. But some visitors have noted they haven't seen the gorillas inside or outside. That's because gorillas may choose to spend time in an indoor area, not visible to the public, while they get used to their new home, said a statement from Zoo New England. "When first introduced to Gorilla Grove, some members of the troop, including Little Joe and Aziza, acclimated to the new space right away, while it took some of the others longer to get used to the space, which is quite different from their indoor habitat," said Zoo New England.

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Arnold Arboretum Restoring Wild Populations of New England Blazing Star

The Arnold Arboretum is dominated by trees and other woody plants that by and large originated elsewhere— primarily from wild, temperate habitats around the globe. But staff have historically preserved areas of the Arboretum landscape where native understory plants are encouraged to grow spontaneously and by design, and in recent years we have begun collecting and reintroducing herbaceous species that were once common on our grounds. Like our accessioned trees, these plants may be immediately familiar and plentiful in the wild, or threatened and quite rare. One example of a species poised for a comeback in our landscape is New England blazing star, a plant reintroduced through a collaboration with Zoo New England. For the Arboretum, this species is significant to both history and conservation—the last confirmed wild population in all of Suffolk County was documented in our landscape almost 90 years ago.

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‘All for Australia’ Fundraiser at Franklin Park Zoo on Feb. 13

In response to the catastrophic bushfires in Australia, Zoo New England will host All for Australia, an evening ticketed fundraiser inside Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest Pavilion on Feb. 13. Franklin Park Zoo is home to a number of animals native to Australia including red kangaroo, emu, Gouldian finch, black swan, tawny frogmouth, laughing kookaburra, Australian walking stick, blue-tongued skink, sulphur crested cockatoo, budgerigar, palm cockatoo, and more. All event proceeds will benefit Zoos Victoria’s Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund, which is supporting the critical care and long-term recovery of Australian wildlife. Tickets are $30 and include hors d'oeuvres, animal encounters, and musical performances by The Bag Family Band.

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Zoo New England Receives $10,000 Targeted Grant to Advance Women

Zoo New England recently received a $10,000 Targeted Grant from Eastern Bank. The grant will support the Boston BioBlitz, a STEM initiative designed to immerse inner city girls in structured environmental exploration while contributing to local and international biodiversity projects. Each year, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation’s Targeted Grant program supports hundreds of community-based organizations working for progress on a specific issue in Eastern’s New England footprint. In 2018, in celebration of the Bank’s 200th anniversary and to honor its first depositor, Rebecca Sutton, Targeted Grants have been designated to support organizations addressing a range of issues that disproportionately impact women, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, health care, pay equity, and senior management and board representation. Zoo New England is among 170 nonprofits each receiving a $10,000 grant.

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Zoo New England Merges with Grassroots Wildlife Conservation

Zoo New England officials recently announced that Grassroots Wildlife Conservation has become part of Zoo New England. Grassroots Wildlife Conservation is a local non-profit organization with proven success and commitment to preserving rare and threatened species in eastern Massachusetts such as Blanding’s turtles, eastern spadefoot toads and has started to protect spotted turtles in West Roxbury. Zoo New England, which manages Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, is deeply committed to saving wildlife and wild places both locally and abroad. This merger is in perfect alignment with Zoo New England’s strategic plan, designed to advance mission delivery and conservation impact, as well as expand the capacity to create fun and engaging experiences that connect visitors of all ages to the wonders of the natural world. “By combining our skills and resources, together through this merger we are going to be able to fulfill our mission of saving animals from extinction in a much deeper and more impactful way,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.

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