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Stone Zoo to unveil the Caribbean Coast

Update: June 7
This morning, we officially opened the doors to the sights and sounds of the Caribbean at the ribbon-cutting of the brand-new Caribbean Coast exhibit! The Caribbean Coast is being made possible entirely by private funding, including a generous contribution by StonehamBank. We're grateful for the support of everyone who joined us today to mark the occasion, including representatives from StonehamBank, as well as Senator Jason Lewis, House Minority Leader Brad Jones, Representative Paul Brodeur, State Representative Paul Donato, Stoneham Board of Selectmen Chairman Anthony Wilson, and representatives from Newburyport Bank. Thank you to Montilio's Baking Company for creating a gorgeous cake, and to Legoland Discovery Center for a custom flamingo build for the occasion!


CaribbeancoastfilmstripZoo New England announced today that the Caribbean Coast, an immersive new experience at Stone Zoo, will open to the public on Thursday, June 7 following a ribbon-cutting ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The $4 million Caribbean Coast features a walk-through aviary with Caribbean flamingos, scarlet ibis, macaws and Jamaican iguanas, an exhibit featuring bush dogs, and fun, imaginative and interactive experiences designed to further connect guests of all ages to this region of the world. The Caribbean Coast is the only exhibit of its kind in New England where guests will have the opportunity to feed the flamingos.

The Caribbean Coast is being made possible entirely by private funding, including a generous contribution by StonehamBank.

“We are thrilled to debut the Caribbean Coast, which not only transforms the guest experience but further connects people to the amazing biodiversity of this region of the world,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “We have made incredible progress at Stone Zoo in recent years and are deeply grateful for the generosity of the donors who recognize the value that Stone Zoo brings to the community.”

“As a proud supporter of Stone Zoo, StonehamBank was more than happy to contribute to The Caribbean Coast exhibit. We’re excited that the surrounding communities are going to experience new things, like the Calypso Trail, and learn about new animals,” said Janice Houghton, President and CEO of StonehamBank.

The Caribbean Coast completes the second phase of the transformation of Stone Zoo’s entry and Welcome Plaza. The space, which is physically adjacent to the Welcome Plaza, Treasures of the Sierra Madre and Yukon Creek, has been seamlessly integrated and dramatically improves the way guests experience the zoo. This new addition also builds on recent improvements to Stone Zoo including the opening of the $3 million Welcome Plaza in August 2017, featuring a new entry and ticketing plaza, a new gift shop and new restrooms. The new Animal Discovery Center also opened last year.

On Saturday, June 9, Stone Zoo will host a celebration in honor of the Caribbean Coast opening. Guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the animals, and will enjoy crafts and music, including the rhythms of steel drums.

The Caribbean Coast was built by Commodore Builders. Coyle and Caron was the landscape architect and exhibit design firm for this project.

About the Caribbean Coast

The Caribbean Coast is separated into four featured areas:

  • Flamingo Flats will be home to the zoo’s highly successful breeding colony of Caribbean flamingos. The walk-through aviary, which will include flamingo feeding opportunities for the public, also features scarlet ibis, macaws and Jamaican iguanas. Thought to be extinct for decades, the critically-endangered Jamaican iguana is the largest terrestrial vertebrate on Jamaica and can only be found in the tropical dry forests of Hellshire Hills near Kingston, Jamaica.
  • The new bush dog exhibit, the only one in New England, features a pair of bush dogs. Listed as a near threatened species by IUCN, these small mammals can be found in extreme eastern Central America and northern South America, south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. Formidable hunters, their size and shape make them uniquely adapted for life on the forest floor, while their webbed feet make them good swimmers.
  • Along the Calypso Trail, guests can encounter percussion instruments evoking the sounds of the islands, as well as discover several flamingo yoga stations. The yoga stations invite guests of all ages to mimic flamingo behavior while also teaching about the importance of behavioral adaptations.
  • Located right off the Calypso Trail, Fiesta Gardens is an outdoor multi-use space that will be used for educational programming, special events and private rentals. This space fulfills a great need at Stone Zoo, which also greatly enhances revenue generating potential through rentals and private events.