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Franklin Park Zoo: Old Bear Dens

By Kenyin

The Bear Dens are rusty old cages from Franklin Park Zoo that used to be an attraction for people to see bears. The old Bear Dens are located outside of Franklin Park Zoo. They are north of the stadium, up a hill in the woods. The Bear Dens were part of Franklin Park Zoo, founded by Frederick Law Olmsted, who had also designed the surrounding park that opened on October 4, 1912. The dens were living quarters for bears who lived at the zoo. It was not a popular attraction, possibly because it was off the zoo campus, which made it harder to reach the Bear Dens. The original grounds featured a grand staircase leading to a large courtyard, framed by several large, iron bear cages. Some bears who lived in the Dens were black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears. The Bear Dens were abandoned in 1971. There are no plans for the foreseeable future because there is no money. However, my suggestion for if the Bear Dens come back is to build a glass dome over the dens to protect the bears and the visitors. The Bear Dens are loved by people and me, and the fact that Boston is not doing anything to fix them is pretty sad. Boston needs to protect its history.

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