Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Stone Zoo

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Date opened
1905; June 6, 1992

No. of animals

10 ha

Number of animals

Land area
26 acres (11 ha)

No. of species


+1 617-541-5466

Number of species

Stone Zoo

Middlesex Fells Reservation, 149 Pond St, Stoneham, MA 02180, USA

Open today · 10AM–4PMTuesday10AM–4PMWednesday10AM–4PMThursday10AM–4PMFriday10AM–4PMSaturday10AM–4PMSunday10AM–4PMMonday10AM–4PMSuggest an edit

Susan Russell House, Museum of Science (Boston), Somerville Theatre


Stone zoo stoneham ma

Stone Zoo is a medium-small sized zoo of about 26 acres (11 ha) in Stoneham, Massachusetts, United States, by the Spot Pond reservoir. It is operated by Zoo New England, which also operates the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.


Stone Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

It s a stone zoo snow day


The zoo was founded in 1905 as the Middlesex Fells Zoo. It began as a small collection of local animals, but soon began to include more exotic species as well. A new attraction, the Kiddy Zoo (which was largely based on Mother Goose stories) opened in the 1950s. The zoo underwent major renovations in the 1960s under the guidance of zoo director Walter D. Stone; state-of-the-art exhibits were built, including a large free-flight aviary. Also from the renovation project, the zoo began featuring elephants, giraffes, zebras, pygmy hippopotamus, sea lions, and many other large animals. On March 14, 1969, the zoo was renamed the Walter D. Stone Memorial Zoo in honor of Walter D. Stone, after his untimely death in 1968.

The zoo was very popular by the 1970s and 1980s. During this time, it began breeding endangered species, including orangutans, kinkajous, siamang, and kudus. A polar bear named "Major" arrived in July 1979, and soon became the zoo's main attraction.

On November 12, 1990, after drastic state budget cuts, the Stone Zoo was forced to shut down. Due to a public outcry, the state senate helped set up a private, non-profit corporation to manage the zoo, with the help of fund-raising, donations, etc. During this transition period the zoo lost all of its large animals (except for Major, who stayed at the zoo until his death in 2000), and the grounds were not kept properly. The zoo rapidly declined in quality, and then in attendance. Old facilities were put to new uses, such as using the giraffe house as an animal education center. The zoo reopened its gates on June 6, 1992.

In the early 2000s, Zoo New England began a fund-raising campaign to reinvigorate both the Stone Zoo and the Franklin Park Zoo. A variety of fund-raisers were carried out, and a variety of plans for improvements to the zoo were drawn up. Surveys were made of zoo visitors about the various plans, and Zoo New England has been using the results to direct their improvement and renovation plans. On September 24, 2005, Stone Zoo celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The current layout aims to make the whole grounds interesting and educational, without featuring as many large animals as a major zoo. Since 2000 a number of significant improvements have been made, such as:

  • Birds of prey outdoor wild bird demonstrations (an independent contract with the World Bird Sanctuary based out of St. Louis, Missouri, running Memorial Day through Labor Day only) (c. 2005)
  • Meerkats (c. 2006)
  • Upgrades to the North American river otter exhibit (2008)
  • A new American black bear exhibit, featuring two black bears, built on the site of the old polar bear exhibit (2008)
  • An annual holiday light exhibit, ZooLights, with thousands of lights and Christmas displays (runs from Thanksgiving through Christmastime)
  • A newly built open air environment for gibbons (2009), as gibbons are tree-dwellers.
  • A temporary seasonal exhibit, Aussie Adventure (2013), open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  • A new seasonal, but permanent, exhibit with three American alligators opened up in the Spring of 2014.
  • Since this time, the grounds of the zoo have been improved; attendance is up. The Lynx exhibit was expanded. The Snow Leopard viewing area has been improved. There is also a Nature Playscape. There will soon be an MBTA bus stop added to the zoo, to make access easier by public transportation.

  • In the Summer of 2016, the Animal Discovery Center was demolished and the Llama and Capybara were reconfigured.
  • The current gift shop will be going through extensive renovation. It will become the new location for the Animal Discovery Center, housing amphibians, bees and other small animals. A new gift shop will be incorporated into the new entry complex.
  • In August 2016, Chacoan Peccary debuted in the former Coyote exhibit. The Zoo no longer has Coyotes.
  • Construction fences are up where the new Entry/Gift Shop will be located. Footings have been dug and poured. The sidewalk has been narrowed and repaved in the location of the construction. The Entry/Gift Shop will be located where the previous entrance and animal discovery center was located. Visitors will enter the zoo with the Black Bear exhibit as the first exhibit encountered.
  • Exhibit areas

  • Yukon Creek (opened in the early 2000s): Simulates the Canadian north woods; contains North American Porcupine, Bald Eagle, Canadian Lynx, Arctic Fox, Great Horned Owl and reindeer
  • Himalayan Highlands: Yak, snow leopards, Markhor, and Black-necked crane
  • Treasures of the Sierra Madre (opened in 2002): Jaguar, Chacoan peccary, Cougar, Llama, Capybara, Spectacled Owl, Seba's short-tailed bats, White-nose Coati, various Tarantula, Panamanian Golden Frog, Peregrine Falcon, Red-Tailed Boa, Rosy Boa, Striped Skunk, and Gila monster
  • Windows to the Wild (opened in May 2003): Meerkats, Caribbean flamingo, Kookaburra, Inca terns, Cotton-top tamarin, Red-rumped agouti, Prehensile-tailed porcupine, Rock hyrax, Matschie's Tree Kangaroo, Tinamou, Hyacinth Macaw.
  • "Treetops & Riverbeds" North American River Otter, White-Cheeked Gibbon (ca. 2008), Colobus Monkey & Black-Handed Spider Monkey
  • Alfred Huang North American Crane Exhibit (opened in 2012 featuring Sandhill Crane)
  • Whooping Crane (ca. 2014) Sandhill Crane, assorted waterfowl. A seasonal, American Alligator Exhibit is also featured. (ca. 2014)

  • Barnyard: Sheep, Guinea Hog, Chickens, Dwarf Goats and Zebu. This section also features a playground.
  • Past exhibits

  • Aussie Adventure: A temporary seasonal exhibit opened from Memorial Day through Labor Day of 2013 showcased koalas, kookaburras, wallaby, tawny frogmouths, etc. Also included was a free-flight budgerigar aviary, similar to the one at the Franklin Park Zoo.
  • Polar Bears
  • There are two bathrooms, a food concessions area, and a gift shop.


    Stone Zoo Wikipedia