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Zoo Breaks Ground on Exhibit Expansion

Zoo Breaks Ground on Exhibit Expansion Date:Tue, 11/11/2014 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.  “We couldn’t be happier to break ground on this expansion but what’s most exciting is that we will be one of only a handful of zoos in the United States to exhibit Vicuña, the smallest South American relative of the camel and llama,” explained Gregg Dancho, zoo director. “Vicuña have not been on exhibit in the United States in 20 years. Likewise, we have not had Giant anteaters at our Zoo in over 30 years. This is an incredible opportunity for our visitors to see these graceful animals up close and personal.”  In addition to Vicuña and Giant anteaters, the new Pampas Plains South American exhibit will feature Chacoan peccaries and Greater rhea, as well as plants and grasses native to this South American region. A raised walkway is planned, which will offer panoramic views as well as a glimpse into the animals’ distinctive habitats. Guests will discover Giant anteaters foraging in termite mounds and will learn how different feeding adaptations, like the anteater’s long snout...

Zoo Experiences Baby Boom and Welcomes Six Miniature Goats

Zoo Experiences Baby Boom and Welcomes Six Miniature Goats Date: Fri, 10/17/2014 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. Visitors on Sunday watched as “Peaches,” who is four and a half years old, gave birth to one male and two female kids. “Cupcake” also is four and a half years old, and gave birth to one female and two male kids. “Rodney,” at two and a half years old, is the proud father of all six. The baby goats, known as “kids,” are all healthy and happy and welcome additions to the goat yard. This is the third set of kids for both moms.  “These kids are high energy and were bouncing around the farmyard within hours of their birth. Visitors coming this month will enjoy seeing them play and jump around having fun,” explained Gregg Dancho, zoo director.  The kids will begin to nibble on hay and grains later this week and spend the next few months nursing. The kids are not named as of yet.  Visitors can enjoy a visit to the Farmyard to see the newest arrivals as the Zoo celebrates the spooky season with the following upcoming events: October 17, 18, 24, 25: Howl-O-Ween, 6:30 – 10:00 pm  Calling all ghosts and goblins! Come and spend a truly fun and frightful evening at the Zoo featuring a “Greek Mythology” Hayride, Haunted Farmyard, Gruesome Greenhouse, and magic show by Jim Sisti. Tickets also...

Zoo’s Education Program Recognized with National Award

Zoo’s Education Program Recognized with National Award Date: Mon, 09/29/2014 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.  “Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is taking the lead in science education,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “Education is a high priority for Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, as well as for all AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, and this award provides well-deserved national recognition for the Conservation Discovery Corps education program, which is helping to build the next generation of conservationists.” “Award winning education programs like the Conservation Discovery Corps education program not only heighten awareness but also change lives,” said Rick Barongi, Executive Vice President of Conservation at the Houston Zoo and Chair of AZA’s Honors and Awards Committee. “This innovative program is a great example of the critical role that zoos and aquariums can play in enriching the quality of live in all segments of our communities.”     The Conservation Discovery Corps (CDC) is a citizen-science based conservation/education program for students in high school, ages 14-18. Students are provided applied wildlife conservation training in both zoo and field research. Students also obtain an inside perspective on the zoo and its species and gain experience in conservation education, public service and...

Energize Connecticut Funding Brings A-Maze-Ing Stepping Stones Museum for Children Exhibit to the Zoo

Energize Connecticut Funding Brings A-Maze-Ing Stepping Stones Museum for Children Exhibit to the Zoo Date: Tue, 07/01/2014 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.  In keeping with a joint commitment to inspire children to become good environmental stewards, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and Stepping Stones Museum for Children invite visitors to take a fun, interactive journey through the Conservation QuestMaze. The maze teaches children and families valuable lessons about energy – what it is, where it comes from, how it’s used, and why it’s so important to use it wisely. The 2,200-square-foot, visually spectacular maze, which is located near the carousel, provides facts and challenges visitors to take responsibility by using less energy. Only by making good choices can visitors find their way out of the maze. They also are encouraged to make personal commitments to conserve energy, protect the planet, and promote healthy living. Enjoying the maze is included in the price of zoo admission. The Conservation QuestMaze: Explores energy use at home, in business, manufacturing, and transportation; Compares non-renewable and renewable sources of energy; Presents ways to save with...

Every Day is Hump Day with 3 Camels Taking Up Residence at the Zoo

Every Day is Hump Day with 3 Camels Taking Up Residence at the Zoo Date: Wed, 06/25/2014 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.  “Every day is Hump Day this summer at Connecticut’s only zoo!” joked Gregg Dancho, zoo director. “Last year, visitors couldn’t get enough of our kissable camels so this year we have three visiting us for the whole summer. If you’ve never seen one up close, this is your chance!” Joining Toby and Goliath, who were at the zoo last summer, is Noah. All three will be available for rides from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30  p.m. for $5 per person. Visitors are welcome to take photos at no additional charge and may purchase ride tickets at the front gate, gift shop, carousel, and at the camel ride (cash only). While there are no age restrictions for riders, anyone five years old and younger requires an adult rider with them. The zoo also is offering a combination ticket for both a carousel and camel ride for $6.00. Fun camel facts, courtesy of Environmental Graffiti: Bactrian camels have two humps while Dromedary camels have one hump. (Toby and Goliath are Dromedary camels.) The name camel comes from Arabic, meaning “beauty.” A camel’s hump stores fat – not water – as many believe. Camels can drink up to 40 gallons at one time. Camels can go for long periods of...