Bruins inspire name for zoo’s new baby
A bongo calf born at the Franklin Park Zoo Wednesday may be a female, but yesterday she was named Stanley, in honor of the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup victory, said John Linehan, chief executive of Zoo New England, which manages both Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham.
“It was a great way to commemorate the day she was born,’’ said Linehan, who indicated that the calf would probably be referred to as Lee.
The calf is the offspring of Annakiya, 7, and Junior, 5, who are both first-time parents, said Linehan. The zoo houses a total of five bongos and is part of the Bongo Species Survival Plan, a program involving zoos across the country that work to maintain certain species.
“We’ve been one of the key players in producing that robust captive population,’’ he said.
The zoo was not the only Boston institution jumping on the bandwagon yesterday after the Bruins’ Game 7 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The New England Aquarium released a video yesterday of a diver clad in Bruins regalia holding up a replica of the trophy in a tank.
The bongo, a rare species of antelope typically found in the lowland rain forests of Africa, has been bred by the Franklin Park Zoo since the 1980s, Linehan said. Often considered the most beautiful antelope, they have dramatic coats, with 12 to 14 thin white stripes overlaying shades of bright chestnut. Bongos tend to be nocturnal, and their large eyes enable them to see well in the dark.
Because the bongo species is native to Africa, the Franklin Park Zoo must take precautions to ensure their health, zoo officials said. The bongos sleep in indoor stalls at night, and in the winter they stay inside 24 hours a day.
Stanley weighs 30 pounds, Linehan said, and will one day weigh anywhere from 400 to 500 pounds. She is nursing and has begun to walk.
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