Zoo Introduces Rescued Bobcat as Animal Ambassador

Date: 
Tue, 08/21/2012

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - August 21, 2012 - Today Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo introduced "Beeze," a rescued bobcat that will serve as an animal ambassador for the state's only zoo. Pronounced "BeeZee" - as in BZ for Beardsley Zoo - the kitten was separated from his mother shortly after his birth, which is estimated to have been in early May. In the absence of a licensed Connecticut bobcat rehabilitation facility, officials at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) contacted Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo to explore the possibility of placing the then three-week old kitten at the state's only AZA accredited zoo.

In coordination with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the zoo agreed to adopt and train Beeze as an animal ambassador. As an ambassador, the kitten will not be on permanent exhibit but rather will be used in specialized programming to educate the public. Since arriving at the zoo in mid-June, Beeze has undergone daily socialization training and conditioning, the goal of which is to render the cat indifferent to humans prior to its public debut.

ABOUT BOBCATS:

Named for their short tails, bobcats are known to be solitary and nocturnal, which means they are rarely seen by humans in the wild. With a typical lifespan of 10-12 years, these cats can weigh between 11 - 30 pounds, growing to approximately two to three times the size of a typical house cat. It is estimated that nearly one million bobcats live throughout North America, demonstrating their ability to adapt to most any environment including forests, deserts, and suburban areas. While a bobcat's diet consists of small game such as rabbits, mice, squirrels, and birds, they also can kill prey larger than themselves. They can leap up to 10 feet, which gives them the ability to surprise their prey.

Kittens are raised by their mothers in seclusion for 9 to 12 months, which explains why Beeze's separation from his mother at just three weeks old prevented his reintroduction to the wild.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $12.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $10.00, and children under 3 years old are free.  Zoo members are also admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For information, call: (203) 394-6565. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is located at 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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