Press Room and News
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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Nov. 24, 2017 – A pair of reindeer are visiting the Zoo for the holiday season. Santa’s helpers Sam and Jacob arrived from the Far North and are settled into their new home, a temporary exhibit near the Victorian Greenhouse. The yearling males will be Zoo guests until New Year’s, with the possible exception of Christmas Eve. (Their short departure on that evening would take place after the Zoo closes for the evening, and they would be back in their enclosure on the morning of December 26, when the Zoo re-opens after Christmas.)
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – November 20, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s bellwether behavioral studies program in concert with the Biology Department at Fairfield University has gone one step further to improve animal welfare and conservation: using the latest technology to solve an underground mystery. An encounter between Ashley Byun, Ph.D., Fairfield University’s associate professor of biology and Brian Jones, Ph.D., state archaeologist, at a recent TEDx event in Danbury spurred the idea for using Ground Penetrating Radar to map the complicated maze of burrows that is home to two Black-Tailed prairie dog colonies at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – November 14, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo today announced they have received a $10,000 grant from People’s United Community Foundation, the charitable giving arm of People’s United Bank, N.A. (NASDAQ: PBCT). Annually, the Foundation offers awards in support of programs and services that enhance the quality of life for residents across its footprint with three core areas of focus that include: affordable housing, community and youth development. The funds will be allocated to support area students who participate in the Zoo’s teen program, Conservation Discovery Corps (CDC).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – November 9, 2017 — The winning scarecrows have been named in Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Annual Scarecrows on Parade competition. Each year, the Zoo invites schools, art classes, scouts, and individual classrooms to create their own one-of-a-kind scarecrow designs, exhibited in front of the Greenhouse through the months of October and November. Once again, guests and Zoo staff were delighted by the silly, scary, freaky, and frightening results.
Bridgeport, CT, October 26, 2017—When you find the only mammal on earth that has developed the ability to fly, it’s definitely interesting. When you realize that one single member of that species can eat up to 1,200 insects an hour, it becomes that much more intriguing. And if the species also helps to pollinate crops and spread fruit seeds, then looking out for its health and welfare is critical. In this case, we’re discussing the role of the bat in nature, a creature too often maligned and misunderstood.
Bridgeport, CT, October 24, 2017—A visit to a zoo to see the big cats, and small– tigers, lions, leopards and ocelots, among others– is a thrilling moment for many families. What’s invisible to the public is the careful genetic strategy that ensures that endangered species will be around for a future we can’t yet foresee. Sadly, poaching, climate change and habitat destruction has caused the decline of a number of cat species in the wild. A science-based breeding program overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and their Species Survival Plan (SSP) is the lifeline for many species in zoo collections.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – October 24, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will say goodbye soon to its two Canada Lynx kittens, Ruby and Penny, as they will move in the next several weeks to their permanent home at the Buffalo Zoo. Born on April 26, 2017, the six-month-old kittens are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, which is designed to help ensure the survival of selected species, most of which are threatened or endangered in the wild.
Bridgeport, CT, October 20, 2017—Albertus Magnus College hosted a professional development day on Experiential Education at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo on Friday, October 20. Created for guidance counselors and other education professionals, the group was addressed by Sean Michael Green, vice president of Enrollment Management, Patrick Clifford, director of Career Services, Wiley Dawson, Internship and Career counselor, and Devon DeLallo, a Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – October 19, 2017 – The second stage of an ongoing green infrastructure project began this week at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, designed to filter stormwater before it reaches the nearby Pequonnock River, and ultimately, Long Island Sound. Runoff from rainwater can wash pollutants into the river, including oil and chemicals from automobiles, bacteria, and other debris and sediment, potentially harming aquatic life. By installing two new rain gardens and more permeable pavers in the parking lot, the intent is to allow storm water to migrate through the soil and be biologically treated.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – October 13, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo continues its SPOOK-tacular October with BOO at the Zoo on Sunday, October 29 from noon to 3:00 p.m. This phantom-tastic afternoon will include goodies, story-time, and activities for your little monsters along with harvest hayrides and seasonal enjoyments for the whole family. Anyone under 12, in costume, AND accompanied by a paying adult, gets in to the Zoo for FREE! Hayrides begin at the W.O.L.F. Cabin and are $2.00 each. Tickets may be purchased at the Zoo gift shop.
Bridgeport, CT, September 22, 2017—Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Curator of Education Jim Knox will participate in a TEDx talk on Thursday, October 5th at 5:00 pm. in the Danbury High School Theater. Education Curator and Wildlife Ethologist Knox will talk about “How a Shark Taught Him to See,” detailing his fieldwork studying Great White Sharks, Grizzly Bears and African Lions, and how understanding the context of animal behavior can relate to everyday life.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – September 28, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is proud to unveil its latest installation, a certified Butterfly Garden and Bug Hotel, an important contribution to helping the area’s native butterfly population. Located in front of the new animal commissary, the garden is a gift from Stacey Marcell, her husband Wilbert Frazier, and their company, Northeast Horticultural Services.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – August 22, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has reached its challenge goal to build a new home for Rochan, the Red panda, thanks to two substantial donations: from Bob and Helen Natt of Easton, and a matching grant for monies raised by supporter donations from the Werth Family Foundation.
Bridgeport, CT, August 16, 2017—Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo held an awareness event today in the Zoo’s Wolf Observation Learning Facility with Zoo Director Gregg Dancho, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Annie Hornish, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) senior state director for Connecticut, and concerned animal advocates in speaking out against proposed regulations and legislation imperiling protections for endangered species.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – August 9, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $30,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, including a $15,000 award from the foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls. The funds will be used to support the Zoo’s teen program, Conservation Discovery Corps (CDC). The yearlong program is designed to allow high school students to work side by side with field biologists, study the role of zoos in conservation, and help educate Zoo visitors. As part of the CDC’s outreach, the Zoo will work to recruit and retain students from underserved populations, especially young women.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – August 4, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $5,000 grant from The Inner-City Foundation For Charity & Education, in support of the Zoo’s Trout in the Classroom Program (TIC). The Inner-City Foundation For Charity & Education is a non-sectarian organization that supports organizations that provide assistance to at-risk and needy children and adults of Fairfield County. The Foundation strives to meet critical needs in the community by identifying and supporting organizations that have proven to be most effective at serving the community efficiently and well. Funds will be used to support the Zoo’s regional field conservation initiative, Trout in the Classroom, focusing on Bridgeport students. The program is working to bridge the achievement gap in environmental studies in inner city schools.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – August 2, 2017 – In keeping with Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s mission to put animal welfare first, animal care specialists got up close and personal with the Zoo’s pair of American alligators last week. The two nine-year-old reptiles, Randall and Dante, were due for their annual veterinary exam. The fact that alligators are extremely dangerous was not a consideration in scheduling their veterinary appointment; how to catch them and hold them still for the doctor was.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – July 12, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo debuted its newest exhibit renovation this summer: a large viewing window and sheltered wooden platform for viewing the rarest big cats in the world, the Amur leopard. Amur leopards are critically endangered, with fewer than 60 animals left in the wild (66 fewer than is needed to ensure the survival of the species) and fewer than 250 in captivity worldwide. Connecticut’s Only Zoo is constantly seeking to improve both the animals’ living spaces and the human guest experience, prompting the addition of a large viewing window at the Amur Leopard exhibit.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – June 29, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo celebrated their new Canada lynx kittens born in April with a “gender announcement” on Thursday, June 29 and now it’s official: Zoo Director Gregg Dancho announced today that the two kittens are both girls. Guests joined in the fun of guessing the lynx kittens’ gender by donating at the front gate to receive a blue or pink crown, a “Team Boy” or “Team Girl” button or bracelet; or a pair of “Team Boy” or “Team Girl” sunglasses. A cake cutting and cupcake extravaganza was held in the front of the lynx exhibit, courtesy of Alina’s Cakes and Cookies in Fairfield.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 18, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility, continues to enhance its animal welfare methods and infrastructure with the grand opening of its new commissary. To celebrate the commissary opening, the Zoo will host a Commissary Cook Off on Thursday, May 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eight students from the Trumbull High School Culinary Arts Program, under the direction of instructor Chef Craig Voytek, will compete in the Cook Off. Their challenge is to turn a selection of animal diet, restaurant-quality products into delicious dishes suitable for humans.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 19, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo welcomes two Canada lynx (Felis lynx) kittens, born on April 26, 2017. The babies have yet to have their first exam by the zoo’s veterinarian, as their mother is still extremely protective and the zoo staff is respecting her need for privacy for several more weeks. The two kittens appear to be healthy, and a quick peek into their den showed that their eyes are open.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 17, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo celebrated the 12th annual Endangered Species Day with a special proclamation by Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim on Friday, May 19 at the Zoo. Annie Hornish, Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the U.S., also attended and spoke on behalf of endangered animals. Started in 2006 by the U.S. Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 17, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will celebrate the 12th annual Endangered Species Day with a special proclamation by Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim on Friday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m. at the Zoo. Annie Hornish, Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the U.S., will also attend. Started in 2006 by the U.S. Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places. The goal of Endangered Species Day is to educate people about the importance of protecting our rare, threatened, and endangered animal and plant species.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 3, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $3000 grant from Environmental Professionals’ Organization of Connecticut (EPOC). The EPOC was formed to represent the interests of Connecticut’s Licensed Environmental Professionals (LEPs). Funds will be used to support the Zoo’s teen program, Conservation Discovery Corps (CDC). The yearlong program is designed to allow high school students to work side by side with field biologists, study the role of zoos in conservation, and help educate zoo visitors.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – April 26, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will host conservation expert Brian Badger, from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), on Saturday, May 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Zoo’s Research Station. The Cheetah Conservation Fund, the world’s leading organization dedicated to saving cheetahs in the wild, has developed programs that address threats to the cheetah and its entire ecosystem, including human populations. Cheetahs once ranged across the entire African continent. Today, cheetahs are found in only 23% of their historic African range, and are extinct in their Asian range except for a small population in Iran of about 50 individuals.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – April 11, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s newest addition, a ten-year-old Amur tiger named Changbai, has completed her quarantine period and is now on exhibit. After arriving on January 12, 2017 from the Philadelphia Zoo, the last three months were devoted to making her familiar with her new home. Once she was comfortable with her surroundings, Chang made her debut at Connecticut’s only zoo in April to the delight of zoo guests.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – March 27, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has pledged a donation of $2,000 to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) effort to save a small species of porpoise whose numbers have been decimated by gillnetting. The combined contribution of zoos across the nation has raised more than $600,000 to save this imperiled animal. The vaquita porpoise, whose name means “Little Cow,” is the most endangered of the world’s 128 marine mammal species. Gillnetting uses walls of netting to target a particular fish, in this case the totoaba, but vaquitas often get tangled in the nets and drown.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – March 20, 2016 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo joins #LoboWeek from March 26 to April 1, an annual effort to educate people about the importance of wolves on the landscape of the Southwest, and the efforts to successfully return them to their ancestral home in the wild. #LoboWeek this March marks 19 years since 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves were released into the wild in Arizona and New Mexico as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – February 16, 2017 – Just in time for the mini school break next week, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has a little idea that’s sure to be a big hit with the kids. New to the zoo family is a pair of miniature horses, diminutive charmers named Nutmeg and Caramel. Guests will find them in an exhibit at the New England Farmyard.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – February 8, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo invites residents to become Citizen-Scientist volunteers, and participate in a “FrogWatch” census in area wetlands. In a collaboration between the Zoo, The Maritime Aquarium, and Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, volunteers will make regular visits to wetlands in their neighborhoods and keep a frog log to record the frog and toad calls they hear. Working with experts, volunteers will learn about local frog species, then visit wetlands once or twice a week for about 15 minutes each night this spring and summer.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – February 7, 2017 – Love is in the air throughout the month of February, including at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. Courtship rituals here, like everywhere in the world, are wildly diverse. A male otter may bite the female’s nose to show he’s interested; swans engage in an elaborate dance, synchronizing their movements. Just like their human counterparts, there are animals that mate for life, like wolves, and some, like prairie dogs, whose entire mating season is only one hour long. What makes one species choose monogamy as the secret to survival, while others form a looser bond, coming together only to procreate?
BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – February 2, 2017 – Who needs Punxsutawney Phil when you have ‘Beardsley Bart?’ Beardsley Bart, Connecticut’s own Prognosticating Prairie Dog, came out early this morning to share his weather forecast with a small gathering of friends. Bart’s closest confidante, Gregg Dancho, Director of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, served as his interpreter, along with Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – April 26, 2016 –Four African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) have moved into their new summer home at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo with the much anticipated opening of the Penguin Plaza exhibit. Three males, Tubbs, Sal, South, and one female, Squirt, will be our guests until September 30th. The birds will splash and play in a new temporary exhibit featuring a 30,000-gallon pool located next to the Peacock Café. Visitors will enjoy wild adventure animal shows, Animal Bytes storytelling and scavenger hunts designed to help visitors learn and care about penguins.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – March 8, 2016 – For the first time in zoo history, a Giant anteater has been born at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. Arriving on February 13 and weighing 2.4 pounds (1100 grams) at birth, the baby is now just over 14 inches and was born after a 175-day gestation period. Proud parents are first time dad “EO” and second time mom, “Pana.” The pair was brought to Connecticut’s only zoo with the hopes of successful breeding. Currently mother and baby are off exhibit with plans for a debut in late spring 2016.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – November 11, 2014 – Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch joined Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo board members, Zoo staff and supporters for a groundbreaking event of the Zoo’s Pampas Plains exhibit last week. Featuring animals from the Pampas region of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, the new exhibit is considered phase one of the Zoo’s South American Adventure exhibit. It is part of the Zoo’s Master Plan to exhibit South American species and is funded in part by private donations as well as funding from the Connecticut Zoological Society with support from the City of Bridgeport.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – October 17, 2014 – On Columbus weekend, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo experienced a Nigerian Dwarf goat baby boom. Six Nigerian Dwarf goat babies were born – three on Friday, October 10 and three on Sunday, October 12, 2014.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – September 29, 2014 – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced that Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo received Top Honors in its 2014 Education Award for the Conservation Discovery Corps education program. The AZA Education Award recognizes outstanding achievement in educational program design, judging programs on their ability to promote conservation knowledge, attitudes and behavior, show innovation, and measure success. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo received its Education Award in the category of institutions with budgets under $5 million.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – July 1, 2014 – Thanks to funding from Energize Connecticut, an initiative dedicated to empowering Connecticut citizens to make smart energy choices, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and Stepping Stones Museum for Children are teaming up to bring an exciting educational experience to Connecticut’s only zoo’s this summer. A temporary addition to the zoo’s educational offerings, the museum’s Conservation QuestMaze is installed at the zoo through Labor Day. The Conservation Quest Maze is one of the energy exhibits and programs sponsored by Energize Connecticut in partnership with Connecticut Light & Power and the United Illuminating Company.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – June 25, 2014 – Back by popular demand, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo welcomes three camels to the state’s only zoo for the summer. These exotic animals were a huge hit with the public last year and will call Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo home through Labor Day.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — June 19, 2014 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is experiencing a baby boom with the birth of four critically endangered Red wolf pups and six Guinea hog piglets, which are not considered endangered. Today, just 100 red wolves roam their native habitats in eastern North Carolina, and nearly 200 Red wolves are maintained in captive breeding facilities throughout the United States. Because of this, the birth of four pups – two male and two female – represents a welcome increase in the overall scarce population. On the contrary, Guinea hog piglets are becoming a regular sight at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, with litters being born four of the last five years. The births of the wolf pups and piglets follow on heels of the zoo’s April announcement of four North American River otter pups – two males and two females.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — June 4, 2014 — Animal lovers, wine aficionados, and food connoisseurs from near and far will gather under the stars for the annual “Wild Wine, Beer, and Food Safari” benefitting Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, on Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM (rain or shine). The evening will include live entertainment by The Navels as well as a fabulous silent auction.
BRIDGEPORT, May 24, 2014 — Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is pleased to release its calendar for May through August 2014. The Zoo has fun events for the entire family all year round, most of which are free with the cost of admission. Calendar subject to change without notice. Please check BeardsleyZoo.org or Facebook for the most up to date information. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $14.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $10.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members also are admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — April 17, 2014 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo welcomes four North American River otter pups, born on February 15, 2014. The babies had their first exam by the Zoo’s veterinarian today, revealing the gender and general health of the otters. The exam revealed that two female and two male otters were born. The females weighed in at 3.1 lbs and 2.29 lbs while the males weighed in at 3.06 lbs and 3.4 lbs. Dr. Hochman, who has been a vet at the Zoo for 43 years, checked their overall wellness, listened to their hearts, and gave them their first vaccination. The pups also had identification transponders inserted. This is standard operating procedure and does not cause the animals any discomfort.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. and SILVER SPRING, Md. – March 10, 2014 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo invites Connecticut residents to take advantage of Daylight Savings Time, and “Spring Forward” for amphibians through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) FrogWatch USA™citizen science program. The zoo, in collaboration with Yale University’s Peabody Museum, will teach families, students, and others how to be citizen scientists through both classroom and experiential learning. Working with experts, volunteers will learn about local frog species, travel into wetlands throughout the region, and observe and record the frog and toad calls they hear. While at the zoo, volunteers also will have a chance to get up close and personal with amphibian education animals.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – February 21, 2014 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is pleased to release its updated calendar for March, April, and May 2014. The Zoo has fun events for the entire family all year round, most of which are free with the cost of admission. Calendar subject to change without notice. Please check BeardsleyZoo.org or Facebook for the most up to date information.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – February 7, 2014 – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. Fewer than 10 percent of the approximately 2,800 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA-accredited. Currently, there are only 223 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums.