You've seen him tracking bear, seeking great white sharks, and cavorting with all kinds of other creatures on Animal Planet. Now, you can let noted wildlife biologist, TV host, and hometown guy (more on that in a moment), Jeff Corwin, be your personal guide as you track the creatures at Zoo New England's two locations. The Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo recently introduced Wild Adventures, interactive audio tours featuring narration by Corwin. Using devices available for rent at the zoos, visitors are able to plot their own customizable itineraries and listen along as Corwin describes the exhibits and animals they encounter along the way. Features also include close-up photos of the animals (who may be hiding in plain sight or too far away to make out any details in the exhibits) as well as audio of the animals' calls. It sounds like a fun way for guests to explore the zoo using smart phone-like technology.

Corwin has a personal connection to the zoos. It turns out that the wildlife specialist grew up in the wilds of Greater Boston and spent his formative years hanging with the monkeys, elephants, and other occupants at the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos. He says that the childhood visits helped him develop his fascination with animals and nature and set him on his life's course. Corwin serves on the Zoo New England board and still calls Massachusetts home.

If you want to save some bucks while you check out the bucks at the zoos, consider visiting on Father's Day (Sunday, June 16) when, you guessed it, dads get free admission. Also, the zoos are participating in Free Fun Fridays with free admission for all on June 28 for the Stone Zoo and August 2 for the Franklin Park Zoo. Zoo New England Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Road, Boston, 617-541-LION (5466) Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA, 781-438-5100 Wild Adventures with Jeff Corwin, $5 per person above the cost of general admission.

Photo: Zoo New England