Visit the Franklin Park Zoo

Baby Azize the Western Lowland Gorilla at the Franklin Park Zoo

Baby Azize the Western Lowland Gorilla. Photo courtesy of Franklin Park Zoo

Lions and tigers and… goats? These are just a few of the animals that live at the Franklin Park Zoo. There are also zebras, giraffes, flamingos, a bird’s world exhibit, Butterfly Landing, and much more. With many interactive programs and sessions, and children’s activities, the zoo is a family-friendly destination.

The Franklin Park Zoo, located in Dorchester, is a part of Zoo New England, which also contains the Stone Zoo in Stoneham. The Franklin Park Zoo is open all year around. Here are some highlights. 

Tiger Tales Exhibit

Anala the Lion at the Franklin Park Zoo

Anala the Lion. Photo by Loring Child

There are two tigers at the Franklin Park Zoo. Anala and Luther came to the Zoo from after being rescued from by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anala is a traditional orange stripped tiger, while Luther is a white tiger.

They live happily in the Tiger Tales Exhibit, in which visitors can visit them and see them from multiple viewpoints.

The Tropical Forest

Pygmy hippopotamus at the Franklin Park Zoo

Pygmy hippopotamus. Photo courtesy of Franklin Park Zoo

Don’t miss the Tropical Forest with all of it’s exotic animals. 

The Tropical Forest at the Franklin Park Zoo is home to several Western Lowland Gorillas, including a new baby gorilla, Azize, born in May. Visitors can watch them play and interact through glass. Gorillas are the world’s largest living primates. 

Fun fact about Gorillas: Male gorilla’s can grow up to 5.5 feet tall and weigh over 400 pounds!

Also in the Tropical Forest is a pygmy hippopotamus. The Franklin Park Zoo has two hippopotamus named Cleopatra and Inocencio. Zoo New England is a proud member of the Pygmy Hippo Species Survival Plan, a conservation project to protect pygmy hippos and prevent extinction. The biggest threat to these hippos is that their habitat is shrinking due to human actions.

Before leaving the Tropical forest, don’t miss the various bats, snakes, lemurs and more.

African Lion at the Franklin Park Zoo

African Lion at the Franklin Park Zoo. Photo by Loring Child

Kalahari Kingdom

The Franklin Park Zoo has two African Lions, brothers Dinari and Kamaia. African Lions live in prides. These “kings of the jungle” don’t actually live in the jungle. They live in grasslands, savannas. and woodlands.

Fun fact about Lions: Only male lions have manes.

Don’t miss the Bongos. Bongos are related to African Antelope. They are brown and white striped. Bongos are known as the “ghosts of the forests” because of how quietly they move around.

Please note: some animals are not on exhibit during the colder weather. Please visit Franklin Park Zoo website or call to for more information.

Hours and Admission:

Winter Hours

(October 1- March 31)

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily

Summer Hours

(April 1 – September 30)

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekdays

10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. weekends and major holidays


Adult: $19.95

Senior (62+): $16.95

Child (ages 2-12): $12.95

Children under 2: Free

-Alison Perkus, Content Editor