Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Mourns the Loss of Red Wolf Harper

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – March 5, 2018 – The family at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is saddened to announce the passing of Harper, a 12-year-old male Red wolf, on February 26, 2018. The Zoo’s animal care and veterinary teams had been treating Harper for an aggressive type of cancer with a regimen of medical therapy, but he began to go downhill in the past several weeks. In the days leading up to his death, his animal care team had begun to notice his quality of life was diminishing rapidly due to his illness, and through the Zoo’s Quality of Life protocol, the difficult decision was made to euthanize him. Born on May 1, 2005, at The Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, New York, Harper had resided at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for three years. He was a beloved member of the Zoo family. “Harper will be deeply missed by all of us here at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “He had a unique personality and related well both to his companion, Shy, and to his animal care staff. It has been our privilege to have known him since December, 2014. “Harper’s intensive daily care during his illness is a testament to the dedication of his professional team and to the work of the Zoo’s veterinary staff. Together they made it possible to give him the best care and quality of life,” Dancho added. The Zoo remains home to two Mexican gray wolves, and one Red wolf, all extremely rare and on the Endangered Species list. The remaining Red wolf is a female, Shy, and has been at the...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives $5,000 Grant from Newman’s Own Foundation

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – March 1, 2018 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $5,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. Funds were donated to support the Zoo’s teen program, Explorers, a program is designed to inspire and motivate teens looking for a hands-on Zoo experience. The Explorers investigate zoo careers, from greenhouseman to zoo director, including animal care, development and marketing, and visitor services. Open to teenagers ages 14-18, members attend career workshops, take part in job shadows, develop a public presentation, and create a year-end project. 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 Newman’s Own Foundation for its longtime support of Zoo programs. Newman’s Own Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own products into charitable donations. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $485 million to thousands of charities around the...

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...