Here’s how Franklin Park Zoo will keep its animals warm during the cold snap

Zoo officials say some "cold-hardy species" will brave the arctic weather in their habitats, while others will move indoors to stay warm this weekend.

Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo is taking precautions to protect its beloved animal population from frigid weather conditions this weekend. 

The zoo will keep certain animals that can’t handle cold weather, like giraffes, gorillas, and porcupines, indoors, according to a WBZ report.

“These guys won’t even know what the weather’s like outside,” Zoo New England President John Linehan told the outlet.

However, some animals that can adapt to the cold, like camels, lions, and ostriches, will remain in outdoor habitats along with special warming features, such as large heated boulders.  

Local meteorologists are calling for dangerous wind chills and frigid temperatures Friday and Saturday. AccuWeather Boston forecasts “real feel” temperatures to drop as low as -46 degrees in the Boston area overnight Friday. 


The arctic weather will continue Saturday, with wind gusts topping 40 mph and a real feel of -6 degrees expected during the day.  

Franklin Zoo officials took to social media to share information about how they were caring for the animals during the cold snap.

“Our care teams have been working hard to ensure all the animals stay safe and comfy during this bitter blast. While many will remain inside their cozy barns, some cold-hardy species can still be seen in their habitats,” Franklin Park Zoo wrote on its Facebook page Friday.

“For example, the birds in the Children’s Zoo Aviary cannot come inside. They could overheat and get sick. So our zookeepers are giving them a little extra TLC to help them prepare for the cold snap,” the zoo wrote. 

The zoo also shared a video showing employees preparing habitats for the cold. According to the video, animal care workers add extra straw to outdoor shelters and heat the water in outdoor exhibits to prevent freezing. Donated Christmas trees create natural windbreaks, and magpies enjoy a perch in front of a heat lamp.

Founded in 1912, Franklin Park Zoo is set on a sprawling 72-acre site in Boston’s historic Franklin Park. The zoo is home to over 100 species of animals, including African lions, giraffes, hyenas, tigers, and gorillas.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on