Construction on a New Red Panda Habitat is Underway at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Groundbreaking Held Today for The Natt Family Red Panda Pavilion  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. A groundbreaking today was attended by lead donors Bob and Helen Natt, of Easton, with their  grandchildren Lillian, Sydney, Amber and Maxwell, Debbie Werth-Bachard from the Werth Family Foundation, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, 138th District City Council Members Anthony R. Paoletto and Nessah J. Smith, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo board members and Zoo staff. The new habitat will be located next to the Pronghorn exhibit, where the donors lifted their golden shovels today in a ceremony to kick off the beginning of construction. Originally a temporary visitor while his exhibit at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Mass., was undergoing renovations, Rochan became a permanent member of the Zoo family. He has resided near the exit of the South American Rainforest Exhibit since October, 2015. His new enlarged habitat will feature a yard landscaped with bamboo—(Rochan eats approximately 1,000 bamboo leaves daily!)—with plenty of treetop spots for sunbathing. Hailing from the Himalayas and the mountain ranges of southwest China, Red pandas prefer colder climates. The new habitat will have cool spaces to enjoy in the summer, and outdoor space to explore in the winter. “The Red Panda exhibit will have a ramp going into the viewing platform with two views, one into the outdoor exhibit and one into a building where the pandas can be in...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and Senator Richard Blumenthal Hold Public Awareness Event in Support of Gray Wolves

Public Awareness Campaign Critical to Protecting Endangered Animals 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. The Beardsley Zoo is home to two Mexican gray wolves, a rare subspecies of the endangered gray wolf, as well as two Red wolves, equally endangered. Efforts currently advancing in Congress would remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species list, threatening conservation efforts and undermining critical work to protect the beauty and bio-diversity of our environment. “We don’t have a right as human beings to destroy whatever we please. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our planet to preserve and protect,” said Blumenthal, adding that our job is to make all of the American people aware of the threats to endangered species. “I cannot emphasize enough how important your activism is,” Blumenthal said. “The animals can’t speak for themselves. It’s people who respect nature that can make a difference.” Dancho thanked Blumenthal for his ongoing support for Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, and emphasized that “this is not the time to take a step backward from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a cornerstone of protection that ensures that the endangered species we work with can eventually put back in the wild where they belong.” Dancho referenced the Zoo’s successful breeding program with Red wolves, with wolf pups from Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo raised to return...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Hosts Senator Richard Blumenthal in Support of Gray Wolves and Endangered Species

Zoo Officials Join Blumenthal and Advocates on August 16 At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16 at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will join Zoo Director Gregg Dancho and animal advocates in speaking out against proposed regulations and legislation imperiling protections for endangered species. The Beardsley Zoo is home to Mexican gray wolves, a rare subspecies of the endangered gray wolf. Efforts currently advancing in Congress would remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species list, threatening conservation efforts and undermining critical work to protect the beauty and bio-diversity of our environment. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, returning the Mexican gray wolf to the wild was a significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation efforts. More than a million wolves were killed in the U.S. between 1850 and 1900. In 1907, a call was made for the extinction of the entire species. Throughout the wolf’s history, they have been hunted and reviled due to fear and misunderstanding. The Zoo is home to two Mexican gray wolves, and two Red wolves, all extremely rare and on the Endangered Species list. WHO  U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Gregg Dancho, Director, Beardsley Zoo Annie Hornish, Connecticut Senior State Director, The Humane Society of the United States WHERE Beardsley Zoo, at the Wolf Exhibit 1875 Noble Avenue Bridgeport, CT WHEN  11 a.m. Wednesday, August...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives $30,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

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. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards, and has awarded $180 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org. 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 The Fairfield County Community Foundation for its generous support. “Grants like this from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation allows Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo to continue our important work of conservation, education, and entertainment for our guests in Fairfield County, in the state of Connecticut, and in the surrounding regions. As Connecticut’s only zoo, we have the opportunity and responsibility to educate the public about our many endangered animals, the Association of Zoos...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives $5,000 grant from The Inner-City Foundation for Charity and Education

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. The program teaches students the importance of water quality through hands-on fieldwork with trout, from fingerlings to sub adult size, before releasing them in a clean, cold stream. Students learn to appreciate water resources, understand ecosystems, and foster a conservation ethic that they bring back to their schools and community. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has three teen educational programs that are offered free or at a nominal charge. No one is turned away for inability to pay. The three programs, Explorers, Conservation Discovery Corps, and Trout in the Classroom are a critical part of the Zoo’s mission to educate the community on environmental issues. 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 The Inner-City Foundation For Charity & Education for their generous...