Brian Badger of the Cheetah Conservation Fund to Visit Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo on May 6th

 Learn How to Save Cheetahs in the Race Against Extinction Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will host conservation expert Brian Badger, from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), on Saturday, May 6th, 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.         Brian Badger has spent three decades in the conservation world, educating people on the mission and goals of sustainable conservation. A passionate speaker who enlivens the audience with elements of fun and humor, and an experienced lecturer to crowds at schools, zoos, and on television, he has been a carnivore keeper for twenty cat species, as well as wolves. He has worked on conservation projects for lions in Uganda, Amur leopards in Russia, tigers in Bangladesh, and snow leopards in Nepal. “As with other species facing extinction, cheetah endangerment can be linked to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and illegal wildlife trade,” said Badger. “Ninety percent of Namibia’s wild cheetahs live on farmland, and come into conflict with farmers, so education has been key to conservation efforts.” The cheetah population has also been decimated by capture as pets. The pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, Italian nobles, Russian princes, and Indian royalty used cheetahs for hunting and as a status symbol for wealth....

Rare Amur Tiger Makes Her Entrance at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

 Fewer than 500 Amur Tigers Remain in the Wild 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. Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are very rare, and are critically endangered in the wild. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) statistics, today’s tigers are thought to occupy less than seven percent of their original range. Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, poaching, tiger-human conflict, and loss of prey, four of nine subspecies have disappeared from the wild just in the past hundred years. Arguably the most endangered big cat remaining in the wild, Amur tiger numbers have dropped to fewer than 500. The future of the Amur tiger has been a major concern of the world’s zoos for many years. Managed by the AZA’s Species Survival Plan (SSP), inter-regional transfers are arranged with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place. Chang was sent to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo as an excellent genetic match to the Zoo’s resident male tiger, Petya.  Chang can be seen in her new exhibit in the Predator area, near the Café. “Chang is a beautiful tiger and is getting along very nicely with our Zoo staff, and with Petya,” explained Gregg Dancho, zoo director. “We gave...