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Feb. brings special deliveries for 2 zoos

Zebra baby born during blizzard

Springtime at local zoos will not only bring blooming flowers, but also a bunch of bouncing baby animals, three of which were born this month.

One birth coincided with the largest snowstorm to hit the ­region in years. A male Grant’s ­zebra was born at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston Feb. 9, earning him the name Nemo, after the blizzard earlier this month.

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Nemo was born to parents Cheyenne and James and weighed 88 pounds at birth, zoo officials said. He is reported to be in good health.

Visitors to the zoo may soon be able to catch a glimpse of Nemo because he could make his debut at the Serengeti Crossing exhibit later this week.

Four days after Nemo was born, a male bongo was born at the zoo. The bongo, weighing 50 pounds, has not yet been named. It is the second offspring for Annakiya and Junior. Bongos are the largest, most colorful, and most sociable of the African forest antelopes, ­according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The baby bongo will be on display only on days when temperatures top 40 degrees ­because bongos are sensitive to cold, Franklin Park officials said.

“We are incredibly excited by all of these recent births, and we’re thrilled to be able to share the news,” said John Linehan, president and chief executive of Zoo New England, which manages Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo in Stoneham. “As with all new births, the staff is keeping a watchful eye on each of the mothers and babies, and everyone is doing well so far.”

The bongo calf’s parents are a part of a species survival plan, designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of certain species, zoo officials said. The new calf is the fifth born at the zoo in the past 10 years.

The Stone Zoo received its own bundle of joy when a prehensile-­tailed porcupine was born Feb. 16 to Comica and ­Elvis. The prehensile-tailed porcupine is also part of a species survival program.

The porcupine species is ­native to Central and South America, according to Zoo New England. The porcupines are born with eyes open and a functional prehensile tail, which is able to grasp or hold objects. ­Infants have a dense coat of reddish hair and sharp natal quills about 15 millimeters long, the zoo organization said.

The baby porcupine can now be seen inside the Stone Zoo’s Windows to the Wild ­exhibit space.

Lauren Dezenski can be reached at lauren.dezenski@
globe.com.
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