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Gala Committee Established for Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Endangered Species Fundraiser

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – February 22, 2018 – When a passionate group of animal lovers, board members, and Zoo supporters get together, the outcome is a fabulous way to raise funds for Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. A group of women and men from around the region have joined forces to create an elegant evening affair, designed to raise money to support the Zoo’s collection of endangered species and enhance habitats. The Gala Committee, co-chaired by Kathy MacGhee of Shelton, and Cathy Fell of Fairfield, is planning an Endangered Species Gala to be held on November 3, 2018, at The Patterson Club in Fairfield. Committee members include Melissa Bradshaw-Mack of Weston, Laurie Heiss of Redding and Greenwich, and Donna Rosenbloom of Weston. Also serving on the committee are Gail Craig of Shelton, Kimberly Rodney of Bridgeport, Cindy Czaplinksi of Wallingford, Craig Elkind of Greenwich, Sean-Michael Green of Orange, and David Norton of Pound Ridge, New York. “This is the first evening Gala held for the Zoo in a long time,” said MacGhee, committee co-chair. “Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is home to important species protection work that we wanted to celebrate. Once you realize the steps that are being taken by our Zoo to help sustain the future of wildlife, it’s impossible not to want to help them continue their work.” “The evening will feature cocktails, a seated dinner, a live and silent auction, and special entertainment. Come meet the Zoo’s animal ambassadors along with animal experts who can answer questions and share information about the Zoo’s mission,” said Co-Chair Fell. The Gala’s guest speaker is Richard Weiss, world-class explorer, Emmy award-winning producer, and...

Hope–And Love–Spring Eternal with Two New Residents at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Jabba the Sloth has Hope for Love; Rochan the Red Panda Finds Reason for Meri-ment  BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 – With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air for two of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s resident bachelors: Jabba the Sloth, and Rochan the Red panda. The Zoo is now the new home for Hope, a sloth that once made her home in Connecticut before transferring temporarily to John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Meri, a four year old Red panda, newly arrived from the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware. Both of the new arrivals have spent the past several weeks becoming accustomed to their new homes, and being gradually introduced to their significant others. Neither of the new arrivals is currently on exhibit, but will be making their public debut in the next few weeks. Hope, the Two-Toed Sloth Jabba and Hope are currently getting to know each other by occupying space side by side in the Animal Health Care Center. Both are Two-Toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus), a species found in Central and South America. Largely nocturnal and solitary, sloths are arboreal, living in trees in rainforests and as well as deciduous forests. The two-toed sloth is larger and (relatively) faster than its cousin, the three-toed sloth. They spend most of their lives snoozing in the rainforest treetop canopy, hidden from predators but vulnerable to deforestation. Hope is not currently on exhibit, but will soon join Jabba in the Rainforest Building. Meri, the Red Panda Meri, short for Meriadoc, arrived several weeks ago from the Brandywine Zoo in Delaware, and has...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Invites the Public to Join in Citizen Scientist FrogWatch USA

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – February 7, 2018 – 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. The watch begins a half hour after sunset, making the watch ideal for families with older children. Observations are reported to a national online database to contribute to amphibian conservation efforts. “FrogWatch USA is a wonderful way for us to engage a new generation of people interested in preserving animal habitats and conservation,” explained Jim Knox, education curator at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. “This program demonstrates how we can all play a part in protecting wildlife.” Volunteer do not need any prior experience or knowledge about frogs. One training session is required, each from 7 to 9 p.m. Choose from: Tues., Feb 20: (Snow Date: Feb 22) First Floor Meeting Room, CT Forest and Park Assoc. Thurs., March 1 (Snow Date: March 6) CT’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport Sat., March 10 (Snow Date: March 13) The Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk Tues., March 20 (Snow Date: March 22) Environmental Science Center, next to Peabody Museum, New Haven  Why Frogs? Frogs and toads play a vital role, serving as both prey and predator, in...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Director Gregg Dancho Cleans Animal Habitat Wearing an Eagles Jersey

Super Bowl Wager Required Dancho to Clean the Bald Eagle Habitat in the Winning Team’s Jersey  Bridgeport, CT, February 6, 2018—The Bald eagles at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo welcomed Zoo Director Gregg Dancho to their habitat for cleaning Tuesday morning, a task he hadn’t performed since his own zookeeper days. As dictated by the term so the wager, Dancho wore a (borrowed) Eagles’ jersey while doing his habitat housekeeping.  Zoo directors at Zoo New England in Boston/Stoneham, Mass., and Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island will also clean animal enclosures. All of the losing zoos will also donate $1,000 to conservation work or a youth-focused program to the winning zoos:  Philadelphia Zoo, Elmwood Park Zoo, and Lehigh Valley Zoo, all in the Philadelphia area. “Unfortunately, I felt certain that the Patriots would win the Super Bowl,” said Dancho. “It was nice to go back to my roots here at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, as I started as a zookeeper 38 years ago. Our animal care staff are truly the behind-the scenes professionals who make our Zoo a treasure for Connecticut.” He added, “It’s all in good fun. As with everything we do at our nation’s accredited zoos, the focus on conservation and education is ultimately what the wager is about. We’re always looking for ways to spread the word about saving endangered animals and teaching our children the value of preserving nature. We’re all winners in the...

More Zoo Babies: Three Maned Wolf Pups Born at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo!

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – January 31, 2018 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is experiencing an exciting baby boom of endangered animals, with the birth of three critically-endangered maned wolf pups (Chrysocyon brachyurus) in December, adding to the two Amur tiger cubs born four weeks earlier. The three pups were born on December 27 in a heated enclosure prepared in advance for the birth. The adult maned wolves are first time parents, but are relaxed and caring for the babies together, as is the norm for this species. This is a significant birth, as captive breeding can be difficult with maned wolves, and for the fact that this is the first time for this species at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo—in fact, for Connecticut itself!      The female maned wolf, Bonita, and male, Paulo, are devoted parents.  Bonita has paid particular attention to the smallest pup in the litter, separating it from its littermates to be sure it has time to nurse adequately. Paulo is anxious to return that pup to the litter, not liking to see his pups separated from each other.  Bonita is age six, and arrived at Connecticut’s only Zoo from the Greensboro Science Center in December 2011, while “Paulo” is age seven, and arrived in March, 2016 from the Philadelphia Zoo. Today, there are about 4,000 maned wolves in the wild. This number is dwindling due to their severely compromised habitat being destroyed by farmers through intense deforestation. In addition, they are threatened by road kill, persecution by humans, and disease due to contact with domestic animals. There is also a belief that certain of their organs have magical healing...