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Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Announces Commissary Grand Opening and Cook Off on Thursday, May 25

Local Culinary Students Are Zoo Chefs for the Day in the Ultra-modern Facility 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. Animal caretakers at the Zoo prepare dozens of nutritionally balanced animal diets each day for the Zoo’s 300 animal residents, utilizing fresh, human-grade foods, ranging from local fish and lamb shanks to grains, fruit, vegetables, and more. The new commissary, funded in part with a grant from the City of Bridgeport, offers enhanced food preparation areas, a larger pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, and a large window so guests can watch food preparation and learn more about animal diets. Partnered with Zoo animal caretakers, each of the students was assigned an animal diet to use as the inspiration for their dish. The students have created original dishes based on a list of food products and submitted their plans to Chef Voytek for approval prior to the competition. Judges will critique dishes based on presentation, taste, color, and creativity. Animal diets include the following– Eagle: Thai Glazed Salmon; Alligator: Honey Chipotle Chicken Wings and Almonds; Howler Monkey:...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Welcomes Two Lynx Kittens to the Family

Birth Announcement on Endangered Species Day Highlights the Importance of Zoo-Born Animals 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. “At just three weeks old, it will be a while before the kittens venture out in public,” explained Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “They are just starting to explore the world around them.”  Dancho remarked that it’s especially rewarding to announce the birth of the lynx kittens on Endangered Species Day. “The birth of new Zoo babies is a testament to our Zoo team’s husbandry experience and the high quality of their care.” Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is home to the parents, a male, Sasquatch, originally from the Minnesota Zoo born in May 1991, and a female, Selma, from Hogle Zoo in Utah born in May 1992.  Their twins are expected to be on exhibit at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo early this summer. “This birth is very significant for the Zoo in that it is a first for us! The lynx are among the favorite animals here at the Zoo,” shared Dancho. “Their behavior is so entertaining that our guests never get tired of watching them.” Anyone interested in naming the kittens can bid on the opportunity at the auction at the Wild Wine Safari on June 3....

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Celebrates Endangered Species Day with Proclamation

Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim Issued Proclamation in Support of Wildlife Protection 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. Many of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s 300 animals are endangered or threatened in their natural habitats, including the Red and Mexican Wolves, Brazilian Ocelot, Amur Tigers, and others. Conservation and protecting endangered species is a key part of the Zoo’s mission, with 25 cents from each paid admission to the Zoo earmarked for helping critically threatened or endangered animals. Most recently, in March 2017, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo pledged a donation of $2,000 to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) effort to save a small species of porpoise, the vaquita. “We want to save animals in the wild, and to protect them in the Zoo,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “We’re working with the Russian government to have a release program for Amur leopards in the next few years. We’ve had our Golden Lion tamarins and Red wolf puppies released back into the wild. And we’re announcing for the first time that we’ve had two Canada lynx kittens born. They’re about three weeks old. This is the first time that Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has had lynx kittens, so we’re very excited about that.” Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim then issued a proclamation affirming...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Celebrates Endangered Species Day on May 19

Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim to Issue Proclamation in Support of Wildlife Protection  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. Many of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s 300 animals are endangered or threatened in their natural habitats, including the Red and Mexican Wolves, Brazilian Ocelot, Amur Tigers, and others. Conservation and protecting endangered species is a key part of the Zoo’s mission, with 25 cents from each paid admission to the Zoo earmarked for helping critically threatened or endangered animals. Most recently, in March 2017, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo pledged a donation of $2,000 to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) effort to save a small species of porpoise, the vaquita. “As an AZA-accredited zoo, we focus on conservation, education, providing a sanctuary for our animals, and an entertaining experience for our guests,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “By connecting people with wildlife in an enjoyable setting, we can encourage actions that individuals can take to help protect our nation’s wildlife, fish, and plants.” Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim will issue a proclamation affirming the city’s commitment to protecting wildlife so that residents can enjoy living in an area of natural beauty,...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives $3,000 Grant from Environmental Professionals’ Organization

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $3,000 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 guests. The Conservation Discovery Corps accepts applications through January 15 each calendar year. Training begins in February. Program registration is closed for 2017, but the Zoo encourages students to apply for the 2018 CDC experience.  The Zoo is grateful to its many members, supporters, and corporate partners that help to educate, delight, and bring animal welfare and conservation to the state of Connecticut. In particular, the Zoo wishes to thank Environmental Professionals’ Organization of Connecticut for its support. The EPOC has more than 500 members representing numerous technical disciplines working in the area of investigation and cleanup of environmentally impacted sites in Connecticut and around the world. Learn more at...