Animal Attraction: The Franklin Park Zoo’s Four Biggest Characters


franklin park zoo animal attractions

Illustration by John Ueland

Christopher, an African lion, bellows six times daily to “convey to all the other lions in Dorchester that this is his occupied territory,” Linehan says. Golfers on the William J. Devine Golf Course have heard his roar.

The best of Little Joe the gorilla’s 33 tricks? Putting his ear up to the fence so that zookeepers can take his temperature and evaluate him without sedation.

Tito, a 56-year-old California condor with an nine-and-a-half-foot wingspan, has yet to produce an heir. “The first female didn’t like him,” Linehan says. “Our current female likes him better.”

Good genes make Beau, the 2,800-pound, 18-foot-tall Masai giraffe, the most desirable sire in North America. “He’s had three viable offspring that are off in other zoos,” Linehan says.