Elephant Appreciation Day

Elephant Appreciation Day

Join us for Elephant Appreciation Day on Saturday and Sunday (9/19 & 9/20) as we celebrate Ruth and Emily’s 62nd and 56th birthdays! Stop by the Asian elephant habitat at 10:00am or 3:00pm during the Elephant Keeper Chat to wish Ruth and Emily a BIG Happy Birthday. Our dedicated elephant keepers will be available to answer questions while offering these pretty pachyderms some special birthday surprises.

Did you know – Ruth is the 3rd oldest Asian elephant and Emily is the 9th oldest Asian elephant in an AZA accredited facility? Their vitality and health in their advanced age is a testament to the high level of care we provide for these magnificent animals. It is an honor and a privilege to provide a home for these beautiful elephants and we welcome the community to join us in celebrating them!

  • If you would like to bring Emily and Ruth a birthday gift, donations of unopened packages of unsalted shelled peanuts, yogurt covered raisins, and dried fruit will be accepted on their behalf.
  • You can make a donation in their honor that goes directly towards Asian elephant conservation.
  • Or you can symbolically adopt an elephant through our new Adopt an Animal program.

If you can’t make it to the Zoo, we will also be celebrating with a Facebook Live video on Saturday at 10:00am – tune in to our Facebook page and watch our special girls enjoy birthday treats and festive enrichment.


Creature Creations

Creature Creations

We’re back and ready to create more works of animal-inspired art! Join us for Creature Creations on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 12:00pm or 2:00pm for an outdoor, socially-distanced painting class led by instructor Kathleen Patrick and joined by one of our very own Animal Ambassadors.

Registration is $15 for Members and $26 for Non-members, all materials included.

This program will be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather

Register Now
Animal Art Night

Animal Art Night

Looking to explore your artistic side? Create your masterpiece of Cisco the Great Horned Owl on Sunday, September 20th from 5:00-7:30 pm!  Want to see the Zoo after hours and meet one of your favorite animals up-close? Or are you just looking for a fun night out with your friends? Well look no further! BPZOO has just the event for you: Animal Art Night! This 2.5 hour, 18+ program is sure to be a wild ride as you are led step-by-step through a painting of one our coolest creatures by one of New Bedford’s finest artists. All materials are included and no experience is necessary.

Sign me up!

5:00pm – 7:30pm
(rain date Sunday, September 27th)
$35 Zoo Members / $42 Non-member

Boo at the Zoo and Baby Boo Return!

Boo at the Zoo and Baby Boo Return!


Now in its 19th year – Boo at the Zoo returns, with extra precautions, during the daytime to satisfy all your fall, Halloween and cool weather cravings. Want to show off your little ghosts and goblins? Baby Boo is for you! Baby Boo is geared towards children 5 and under, but any age is welcome!

Boo at the Zoo runs from 10:00am to 6:00pm on October 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31.


Baby Boo runs from 9:00am to 2:00pm on October 23 and 30.

Dress the kids in their favorite costume and come explore all that BPZOO has to offer! We’ll provide families with a socially-distanced walk through experience with some twists and turns along the way. Our slightly spooky theme will include mazes, a scavenger hunt, plenty of trick-or-treat stations, endless photo opportunities including a photo costume contest, Halloween themed animal enrichment, and up-close meet and greets with the Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors. Families are encouraged to bring their own “trick or treat” bags. All proceeds from Boo at the Zoo support the Zoo’s education and family programs.

NEW this year – Pumpkin Decorating Contest!
Each pumpkin must be submitted with a Pumpkin Decorating Entry Form at the Zoo on October 12th or 13th. Click the link for full details.



Our membership has its perks! Renew or join today and SAVE  Please note: Zoo Members who purchase tickets to Boo at the Zoo will be granted complimentary admission* to all other weekend Boo activities (Baby Boo excluded and subject to availability) for the remainder of October, for those that attended and are listed on your membership card. Buy once and enjoy up to five Boo at the Zoo days! To receive your unique, one-time use online code to reserve additional tickets, please email membership@bpzoo.org. *Codes will not be distributed until 10/17 and additional tickets are subject to availability


We are excited to bring Boo at the Zoo back for the 2020 season! In order to do so, we have implemented measures to encourage social distancing among guests and staff and to protect our animals. By purchasing your event ticket, you agree to:

  • abide by social distancing rules
  • wear a face mask throughout your visit according to MA state guidelines
  • follow the one-way pathways

Boo at the Zoo Prices
Zoo Member: $11 Adult, $7 Child
Non-member: $16 Adult, $12 Child
Under 2 is free

Baby Boo Prices
Zoo Member: $10 Adult, $5 Child
Non-member: $15 Adult, $10 Child
Under 2 is free

Boo at the Zoo is proudly presented by Bristol County Savings Bank and sponsored by Renewal by Anderson and First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union.



New Species, New Habitat

New Species, New Habitat

The Buttonwood Park Zoo has opened another brand new outdoor exhibit on its seven acre campus – this time, a home for the world’s smallest species of deer. The new outdoor habitat, filled with lush green grass and a cool watering hole, was created for two Chilean pudu, Kelly, age 8 and Chewy, age 4.

“Although very small in stature, Chilean pudu make up for their diminutive size with a large personality,” said Buttonwood Park Zoo Director, Keith Lovett. “The new expansive pudu habitat allows the Zoo to not only provide an enriching environment for the animals, but it also creates the opportunity for the Zoo to raise conservation awareness for this unique species which is experiencing population declines in the wild.”

Chilean pudu (Pudu puda), also referred to as southern pudu, live in the temperate forests of southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. They are listed as a Near Threatened species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population is declining as a result of forest loss and degradation, predation by domestic dogs, vehicular accidents, poaching as well as potential impacts from other species (such as wild boar, invasive deer, and cattle).

An adult pudu’s body length is less than three feet long, with its shoulder height ranging from 1 to 1.5 feet tall. The pudu has a short, reddish brown coat and a short tail. Fawns are born with white spots. Males have simple spike antlers about 3 inches in length.

The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Chilean pudu. The goal of the SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations within AZA accredited zoos to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild.

There are only 42 Chilean pudu at 13 AZA accredited facilities.

BPZOO Welcomes Endangered Red Panda Cub

BPZOO Welcomes Endangered Red Panda Cub

The SouthCoast’s cutest family just got a little bigger – and a lot more adorable!

Update: Red panda cub, Kodo, is now out in the red panda habitat with its parents!

Buttonwood Park Zoo’s female red panda, 2 year-old Marie, gave birth to a single cub on June 4, 2020 – the first of its species to be born at BPZOO in its 126 year history. The cub has undergone initial health screenings by Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Erica Lipanovich and at 21 days old weighed a healthy 336 grams and measured just over 10 inches in length. Mom and cub are currently bonding behind the scenes and are both doing well.

“We are beyond thrilled to announce the birth of our first red panda cub at the Zoo,” said BPZOO Director Keith Lovett. “It is wonderful that our guests will have a chance to gain even more of an appreciation of this beautiful species, but it’s also an incredible opportunity for the Zoo to be able to connect our community to the plight of the endangered red panda and our conservation efforts to help protect this species in the wild.”

According to Dr. Lipanovich, the cub will remain in the nest box, which is inside the red panda’s night house, for the next two months. “We are waiting for its eyes to open and for it to start walking. As the cub grows, its thick fur will eventually turn the iconic rusty red color that gives red pandas their name. The cub will join mom and dad outside when it can safely navigate the perching in its habitat.”

The cub will remain with Marie for at least a year.

“Marie has been a fantastic and attentive first time mother,” said BPZOO Red Panda Keeper Stephanie Durette-Medeiros. “Over the past week, Marie has started to show interest in venturing out into the habitat while the cub is napping – she’s typically going out in the morning and then again later in the afternoon. This is usually when we hear some vocalizations from the cub – demanding mom to come back inside!”

“The cub is changing rapidly as well – in addition to growing from the size of a potato to the size of an eggplant– but much fluffier of course! It’s been wriggly since day one, rolling over and flopping around trying to get its feet under itself. We saw it attempt to crawl a few centimeters last week!”

Jacob, BPZOO’s 3 year-old male red panda, has been respectful of Marie and the cub, understanding her body language and giving her space. When they are outside together in their habitat, she is relaxed and comfortable – only “yelling” at him when he approaches her fresh cut bamboo!

BPZOO’s red panda cub was introduced to adoring fans on Facebook Live on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 during a regularly scheduled “Virtual Keeper Chat”. That video can be viewed here.

Jacob and Marie were brought to New Bedford based on a recommendation as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP), which the Buttonwood Park Zoo is actively participating in. The goal of the 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.

BPZOO recently became a Partner in Conservation with the Red Panda Network by helping in their campaign to Plant a Red Panda Home in Nepal. Once restored, the critical forest corridor that connects Nepal and India will be part of the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Red Panda Protected Forest in Eastern Nepal: the world’s FIRST protected area dedicated to red panda!

More information about BPZOO’s commitment to conserving endangered species can be found here.

About Red Pandas:
Red pandas, Ailurus fulgens fulgens, live in high-altitude temperate forests of Nepal, northeastern India, Bhutan and part of China. Listed as Endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature, the global red panda population has declined by 50% over the last 20 years. Primarily threatened by habitat loss, red pandas are also susceptible to climate change, poaching, livestock herding and disease. It is estimated that there are less than 10,000 and as few as 2,500 red pandas remaining in the wild. Currently, there are 240 red pandas at 85 AZA accredited institutions who are working together to save this endangered species.
Primarily bamboo eaters, red pandas need to eat 20-30% of their body weight each day due to the high amount of indigestible fiber present in bamboo. Thanks to the success of the Zoo’s Community Bamboo Program, the red pandas, elephants and others enjoy various species of bamboo harvested from private landowners throughout the community.