Baby zebra is born during blizzard at Franklin Park Zoo; just one of several new arrivals

Mother and baby checking out the snow
Mother and baby checking out the snow –Zoo New England

Springtime at local zoos will not only bring blooming flowers, but a bunch of bouncing baby animals, three of which were born this month, zoo officials said.

The bongo baby (Nancy Fantom)

One birth coincided with the largest snowstorm to hit Boston in year. A male Grant’s zebra was born at the Franklin Park Zoo on Feb. 9, earning him the name Nemo from zoo staff.

Nemo, born to parents Cheyenne and James, weighed 88 pounds during his well-baby examination and is reported to be in good health, zoo officials said. Visitors to the zoo may even catch a glimpse of Nemo because he could make his debut at the Serengeti Crossing exhibit later this week.


Four days after Nemo was born, a male bongo was born at the zoo. The bongo, weighing 50 pounds, is not yet named, but is the second offspring for parents Annakiya and Junior. Bongos are the largest, most colorful, and most sociable of the African forest antelopes, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The baby bongo will be out on display on days when temperatures top 40 degrees as bongos are temperature-sensitive, zoo officials said.

“We are incredibly excited by all of these recent births and we’re thrilled to be able to share the news,’’ said John Linehan, Zoo New England president and chief executive. “As with all new births, the staff is keeping a watchful eye on each of the mothers and babies, and everyone is doing well so far.’’

The bongo calf’s parents are a part of a species survival plan, designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species, zoo officials said. The birth is the result of a recommended breeding between Junior and Annakiya. The new calf is the fifth born at the zoo in the last 10 years.

Franklin Park’s sister zoo, the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, had a bundle of joy days later, when a prehensile-tailed porcupine was born on Feb. 16 to parents Comica and Elvis, also a part of a species survival plan.


Prehensile-tailed porcupines are primarily arboreal, nocturnal animals native to Central and South America with a keen sense of smell and hearing. These porcupines are born with eyes open and a functional prehensile tail, which is able to grasp or hold objects. Infants have a dense coat of reddish hair and sharp natal quills about 15 millimeters long, the zoos said in a statement.

The baby porcupine can now be seen inside the Windows to the Wild exhibit space.

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