Celebrate Little Joe’s 26th Birthday!

Franklin Park Zoo

Monday, February 18, 10:00 a.m.

It’s Little Joe’s 26th birthday, and you’re invited to the party! The indoor gorilla exhibit at Franklin Park Zoo will be festively decorated and the gorillas will enjoy treats made especially for them. Guests will also have the opportunity to sign a giant birthday card for Little Joe and enjoy cake from Montilio’s Baking Company, available first come, first serve. After you’ve had your fill of cake, be sure to explore the rest of the Tropical Forest, where there will be special zookeeper encounters and crafts for February school vacation week, as we celebrate the weird, wacky and wonderful world of nature. Learn more.

Schedule of Events

  • 10:00 a.m.:  2:00 p.m.: Arts & crafts (Tropical Forest sloth exhibit)
  • 10:15 a.m.: Gorilla zookeeper chat
  • 11:15 a.m.: New this year, don’t miss zookeeper Jake’s puppet show in the Tropical Forest Hippo Theater!
  • 1:30 p.m. – Common river cooter turtle zookeeper chat (Bird's World)
  • 2:00 p.m. – Gorilla forage feed and zookeeper chat
  • 2:30 p.m. – Muntjac zookeeper chat
  • 3:00 p.m. – Nigerian dwarf goat zookeeper chat

Please note:
-Gorillas will go on exhibit at 10:15 a.m.
-This event is included with general Zoo admission. 

Just For Fun:

Committed to Conservation

Gorilla numbers in the wild are declining at a rapid rate. Ebola virus and the commercial bush meat trade, along with extreme habitat loss and poaching are the main causes behind gorilla deaths. As a result, the western lowland gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years. According to the World Wildlife Federation, even if all of the threats to this species were removed, scientists calculate that the population would require some 75 years to recover.


Between 2010 and 2014, 52 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums reported taking part in a variety of field conservation projects benefiting gorillas. Over those five years alone, the AZA community invested $4.5 million in gorilla conservation. In 2010, the Ape TAG Conservation Initiative was launched by AZA's Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), with the goal of increasing zoo support for ape conservation. Through the initiative, AZA institutions continually contribute resources to global ape conservation. Learn more about AZA SAFE.

Species Survival Plan

Zoo New England participates in the Western lowland gorilla Species Survival Plan. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species.