New Species at BPZOO

New Species at BPZOO

BPZOO Debuts New Species this Spring

Winter is in full effect in New England, but BPZOO is looking ahead towards spring – and looking forward to introducing three brand new species to Zoo guests when it finally arrives! These three unique species were sent to New Bedford as part of collaborative programs of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo participates in many collaborative programs, including AZA Species Survival Plans (SSP). The goal of an SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild.

Currently residing in BPZOO’s innovative Rainforests Rivers & Reefs building, which showcases South American primates, birds, reptiles and fish among four mixed species rotational habitats, is a pair of Ma’s night monkeys, also known as owl monkeys. Alexander, 10, and Supressa, 7, are two of only five Ma’s night monkeys at just three AZA accredited institutions. The pair came to BPZOO from a conservancy in Miami, Florida and have been acclimating to their new home since their arrival. Ma’s night monkeys are nocturnal primates with short, dense and soft fur. They have characteristically large eyes to aid in their nocturnal lifestyle and their hands are well developed for grasping.

Hailing from north central Amazonian neotropics of northern Peru and western Brazil in South America, Ma’s night monkeys form small groups of two to five individuals who are all directly related and remain in constant contact with each other through a sequence of squeaks, whistles, and trills. Typically found in lowland tropical rainforests, Ma’s night monkeys occupy the upper levels of the canopy at night, foraging for fruits and flowers. They are listed as Vulnerable on IUCN’s Red List due to habitat loss in Peru through conversion of forests for rice cultivation, pasture and, more recently, palm oil.

Another species debuting at BPZOO this spring is a pair of southern screamers. Also known as crested screamers, these long-legged, non-migratory birds are most closely related to ducks, geese and swans – although one would not know that just by looking at them!

Native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, southern screamers have large feet and long toes that aid them in navigating the marshes, lakes, lagoons and flooded grasslands that they typically call home. Their large feet also lack webbing, although they are still very capable swimmers.

The trumpet-like call of a southern screamer, which has helped them earn their name, carries for several miles and warns other birds of approaching danger. Between their loud, far-reaching call, and the two sharp spurs they carry on each wing, southern screamers are the “guard birds” of their wetland habitat. As the weather warms, they can be seen on guard in the Chilean pudu habitat that opened in the summer of 2020, opposite of the Asian elephant habitat.

“At first glance, many think this incredible species with their long, scaly legs, large bony spurs on the edge of their wings, and cautious gait look pre-historic. The Zoo is home to many species of waterbirds, but the screamers are definitely visually unique,” said Lovett.

There are 81 southern screamers in 41 AZA accredited institutions – including the pair now residing here at BPZOO – and while their conservation status is currently listed as Least Concern, they are under increasing pressure from wetland habitat destruction.

The third and final species that will debut at BPZOO this spring is also the most critically endangered – the Panamanian golden frog. These four females, who arrived recently from the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee, are set to take up residence in one of the terrarium habitats in the admissions’ lobby of the Zoo.

Panamanian golden frogs exhibit a unique behavior only seen in a few frog species called ‘semaphore’ – a type of sign language – to signal to each other. They will “wave” their hands or raise and move their feet to defend their territory, try to attract a mate, or even to greet one another.

Panamanian golden frogs are critically endangered and it is believed that they may possibly be extinct in the wild. Scientists believe that an infectious disease called chytridiomycosis, coupled with pressure from illegal pet trade have caused the drastic decline in population – an estimated 80% in the last 10 years. Habitat loss due to deforestation and stream toxification from agricultural chemicals have also put pressure on this species. Panamanian golden frogs haven’t been seen in the wild since 2009 and if a population remains, it may include fewer than 50 mature individuals.

“The community is mostly aware of the Zoo’s efforts to conserve iconic species like Asian elephants and red pandas, but many smaller, less known species including the Panamanian golden frogs are at significant risk of extinction in the wild and are equally the focus of accredited zoos and aquariums of AZA,” stated Lovett.

Easter EGG-stravaganza

Easter EGG-stravaganza

Hop on over to BPZOO and join in the fun at our Easter EGG-stravaganza!


March 27, April 2 and April 3, 2021

This family friendly, socially distanced, walk through event will include an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt, Easter candy stations, our Spring Forward Obstacle Course, and The Bunny Hop Trail. With endless photo opportunities, up-close meet and greets with our own Animal Ambassadors plus a visit from the Easter Bunny, you’re sure to have an EGG-cellent time! Make sure to bring those Easter baskets.

Tickets must be purchased in advance.


Click here for fun, reusable ways to repurpose Easter eggs!

Click here for our Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt!

BPZOO Membership has its perks! Members receive discounted tickets. Please log in to receive your discount and to purchase tickets.

Space is limited.
Tickets are non-refundable

Member prices: Adults $11
Children: $7

Non-Member prices: Adults $16
Children: $12

Children under 2 are free

Thank you to our Bunny Hop Sponsors:

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Join us on Zoom for two incredible talks about two magnificent species.

April 1, 2021 at 7:00pm  – Care and Conservation of Elephants in Asia

April 28, 2021 at 7:00pm – Preserving a Future for Polar Bears Across the Arctic

Care and Conservation of Elephants in Asia

In this presentation Dr. Susan Mikota, Director of Veterinary Services and Research for Elephant Care International (ECI) will discuss the status of captive and wild elephants in Asia with a focus on ECI projects in select countries. ECI programs focus on Care (healthcare and welfare of individuals and groups), Conservation (mitigation of disease where captive and wild elephant interface) and Capacity Building (through training veterinarians and providing technical support, equipment, and supplies).

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected; a portion of these donations will go to the speaker’s organization.

About Dr. Mikota:
Dr. Susan Mikota is the Director of Veterinary Programs and Research for Elephant Care International, a non-profit organization that she also co-founded. Elephant Care International is dedicated to the healthcare, welfare, and conservation of elephants and to facilitating data sharing among elephant professionals. She has written numerous scientific articles and book chapters and co-edited Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of Elephants, the first modern veterinary textbook dedicated to elephants. Dr. Mikota worked for the Audubon Zoo/Audubon Institute for almost 20 years, before moving to Indonesia for 3 years to care for elephants in government training centers on Sumatra. Dr. Mikota has also worked in Nepal, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. She is a member of the IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group, the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group and the Asian Captive Elephant Working Group (acewg.org). In 2017 she became a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare, a specialty acknowledged by the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Preserving a Future for Polar Bears Across the Arctic

Polar Bears International (PBI) is the only conservation organization solely dedicated to wild polar bears. Through research, education, and advocacy we work to inspire people to care about the Arctic and its connection to our global climate. Join us to learn more about leading polar bear research and education presented by Alysa McCall, PBI Director of Conservation Outreach and Marissa Krouse, PBI Program Manager.

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected; a portion of these donations will go to the speaker’s organization.

About Alysa McCall, Director of Conservation Outreach:
Alysa has a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Animal Biology from Thompson Rivers University and an M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Alberta where her thesis focused on the polar bears of western Hudson Bay. She gained hands-on experience with polar bears from multiple fall and spring field seasons in Tuktoyaktuk and Churchill, and she has been heavily involved in the collaring and tracking of Hudson Bay polar bears. Prior to joining PBI’s staff, Alysa volunteered for several years in multiple capacities, including being a panelist on the Tundra Connections program and assisting with the Polar Bear Tracker. She is passionate about science education and polar bear conservation, and is dedicated to ensuring that future generations inherit a healthy planet. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.

About Marissa Krouse, Program Manager:
Marissa has a B.A. in psychology with a focus in animal behavior. She worked in a zoo setting for nine years, specifically in the fields of conservation education and animal husbandry. Her role at PBI includes coordinating our Arctic Ambassador Center network, Education and Outreach campaigns, and leading our annual Climate Alliance training sessions for zoo staff, helping them to communicate effectively. She is the co-author of a Polar Bear Diet Trial publication in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (2014) and has published in the American Association of Zookeepers National Conference Proceedings (2010, 2011). Marissa is a motivated conservationist who values teamwork and is dedicated to helping others lead their communities. She believes in the legacy she will leave behind and works to leave a healthy planet for future generations.

Wildlife Education Series 2021 is proudly sponsored by