A short 30 minute trip from Londonderry down I-93 South, and just two minutes off Exit 35 in Massachusetts, lies Stone Zoo. A self-guided tour through the zoo begins with the Bald Eagle before a split in the path. Taking the left path, visitors come face to face with two black bears. Separated by only a glass wall, zoo-goers could walk right up the bears and view them in their small habitat.
Just after the bears, and another fork in the path, two coyotes come into sight. Also separated by a glass wall, the coyotes seem less interested in the people viewing them. A small cave-like tunnel in the side of the wall allow children, and some adults, to crawl further into the coyotes’ habitat and watch the animals through a small window. Next to the coyotes, two cougars roam behind their own glass wall.
Rounding a corner leads to the bat cave, where just enough light was let in so that tourists could see the bats hanging from their cavern-like room. Staring long enough allows visitors to catch the reflection of the light off the bottom of a wing as it flashes by. Past a few exotic lizards, lay the jaguar.
Walking through a set of doors leads to the pink flamingo exhibit. There are several flamingos, some smaller and some more vibrant pink than others. Through two screen doors is a small area of birds. The best part of this section is that the birds are able to fly freely about the area, swooping over the heads of parents and children as they walk through. After exiting this bird exhibit through another set of screen doors, there are two variations of a horned bill bird behind glass walls. Next to these are two very large porcupine. Also in this area of the zoo, named the Windows to the Wild, are a Two-Toed Sloth, Emperor tamarin, meerkat, and macaw.
Exiting the Windows to the Wild brings visitors to the gift shop, which features several smaller souvenir items as well as T-shirts, stuffed animals, candy and coffee. Just past the gift shop, the river otter and the Dino Dig can be found. The Dino Dig could be a favorite stop, as children can play in the gravel using shovels, brushes, and other digging utensils to uncover replica dinosaur bones. Also, a large display of replica dinosaur bones and informational facts stood beside the digging area.
Walking through the rest of the zoo will provide opportunity for visitors to see a Yak, a snow leopard, a gray fox, reindeer, and a few barnyard animals. The zoo also has an Animal Discovery Center. Here, families can meet some of the zoo’s workers, as well as the smaller animals. These include frogs, tarantulas, cock roaches, and snakes. There are also snake skins, different bird eggs, and insects that can be viewed under a large magnifying glass.
Stone Zoo is a great place for families with small children. With several learning opportunities, it’s big enough for a day trip. Each animal exhibit is labeled with the animal’s common name, scientific name, and the diet, natural habitat, and commonality of the animal. Also located throughout the zoo were markers containing information about preserving wildlife, plants and habitats.
To learn more about the Stone Zoo, visit their website.
For detailed driving instructions, browse this Google map.