Zoo Heroes

Zoo New England is proud to recognize individuals who have made a profound impact on behalf of Franklin Park Zoo, Stone Zoo and our mission to save animals from extinction. We invite you to learn more about these incredible heroes.

Joe Terrasi


Zoo New England lost a friend and champion of Stone Zoo when Joe Terrasi passed away in 2017. Terrasi was a true treasure to Stone Zoo during an incredibly challenging time in the early 1990s. After the Zoo closed down in 1990 due to state budget cuts, Terrasi was one of the leaders who started the Friends to Reopen Stone Zoo and was its active president until 1993. Terrasi’s efforts included being the on-site foreman for renovating the Zoo’s five original exhibits, working with its extremely limited staff and financial resources, organizing a dedicated group of over 50 volunteers to help maintain, repair, and fundraise for the Zoo, and bringing the community together in support of the Zoo. Terrasi’s unwavering dedication to Stone Zoo, as well as his vision of what the Zoo could become, engaged and energized the community, Zoo staff and many others to accomplish what was needed to reopen. All of his work paid off, and in May 1992 Stone Zoo reopened to the public.

After the successful reopening of Stone Zoo, Terrasi helped supervise and fundraise for numerous construction projects throughout the 1990s, including the gift shop, the North American river otter exhibit, the snow leopard exhibit, and he was instrumental in establishing the Zoo’s beloved holiday tradition ZooLights. He worked tirelessly every day  both at the Zoo and in the community, urging citizens to become involved and contribute to the Zoo in any form they could.

We are incredibly grateful for all of Joe Terrasi’s incredible work and dedication. During a very difficult time, he recognized the value of the Zoo to the community and beyond, and his vision lives on today. Thanks to him, a new generation of visitors have had the opportunity to connect with the wonders of the natural world at Stone Zoo.

We will be dedicating a bench and a plaque at Stone Zoo in honor of Joe Terrasi in early 2018.