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Zoo New England General Curator recognized for years of service by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Frederick Beall, Zoo New England General Curator, was honored with a certificate of recognition from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for 30 years of dedication and service to the Wattled Crane program. 

Beall, who has worked for Zoo New England for more than 20 years, has worked with nearly every crane species throughout his distinguished career. He first began working with wattled cranes, a vulnerable species native to Africa, in the late 1970s. 

Fred Beall

“As a group, cranes are spectacular birds, but they are in deep trouble. They are birds of the marshes and the wetlands and as their habitat is destroyed, these magnificent birds are going to disappear,” said Beall. “I enjoy the challenge of working with these birds – the challenge to better understand their biology and adaptations, and in turn how we can positively impact wild populations to ensure future survival of the species.” 

Beall began his career in 1966 as an Animal Keeper caring for birds at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. By 1978, he served as the Curator for Birds for the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, a position he held until 1992 when he joined the staff at Zoo New England. Throughout his time in Baltimore, he helped establish the black-footed penguin colony, including husbandry and breeding protocols. Throughout a 20-year-period, more than 500 African black-footed penguins hatched. He established the North American Regional Studbook for African black-footed penguins, which evolved into the African Black-footed Penguin Species Survival Plan. 

In 1985, Beall established the Regional Studbook (North America) for Wattled Cranes, which expanded in 1987 into the International Studbook (Global) for Wattled Cranes. Since then, he has continuously served as the International Studbook Keeper and the North American Species Survival Plan Coordinator for Wattled Cranes. He has participated in a number of international workshops dedicated to crane species.

 Throughout his zoo career, Beall has had great success breeding endangered cranes through artificial insemination techniques and environmental manipulation. Under Beall’s leadership, Franklin Park Zoo is the first zoo in North America to have successfully bred endangered Siberian cranes. He has also coordinated with other conservation professionals in the United States and Russia to have red crowned crane eggs, produced here at the Franklin Park Zoo and in other U.S. zoos, transferred to Russia where they were hatched and released into the wild to supplement dwindling wild populations. Beall also serves as the Chair of the AZA Gruiformes Taxon Advisory Group, which coordinates captive management and conservation programs for all crane species.   

“Fred is a proven leader in the field and has worked tirelessly to promote, and foster, a better understanding of wildlife not only to the North American zoo community but to the international community as well,” Linehan said. “He has served as a mentor for so many staff members throughout the years, and he is always willing to lend a hand and share his knowledge. He is invaluable member of the Zoo New England team and we are thrilled that his hard work has been recognized.”