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...

How Far Will Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Director Go to Support Patriots in the Super Bowl?

Northeastern Zoo Directors Join in Super Bowl Wager to Support Their Teams Bridgeport, CT, January 30, 2018—The animals at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo may soon be welcoming Zoo Director Gregg Dancho to their enclosures for a bit of housekeeping while wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey—if the Patriots lose the Super Bowl, that is. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, along with Zoo New England in Boston/Stoneham, Mass., and Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island, is challenging the Philadelphia Zoo, Elmwood Park Zoo, and Lehigh Valley Zoo, all in the Philadelphia area, to a friendly wager.  Every zoo director has agreed to the terms: if their team loses, the zoo director will clean out an animal exhibit while wearing the winning team’s jersey. Additionally, the losing zoos will each donate $1,000 to the winning zoos to assist with conservation work or benefit a youth-focused program. “Luckily, I feel certain that the Patriots will win the Super Bowl,” said Dancho. “I look forward to seeing my colleagues at the Philadelphia Zoo, Elmwood Park Zoo, and Lehigh Valley Zoo cleaning out animal exhibits in a Patriots jersey.” He added, “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...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Introduced Rare Amur Tiger Cubs for the First Time

Seven-Week-Old Tiger Cubs Represent Species at Risk for Extinction in the Wild Bridgeport, CT, January 11, 2018—Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo provided area media a first in-person look today at the rare Amur tiger cubs born at the Zoo. Two of a litter of four cubs survived after their mother, Changbai, neglected them, causing Zoo staff to step in. Since their birth on November 25, 2017, they have been cared for around the clock at the Zoo’s Animal Health Care Center. Zoo Director Gregg Dancho was joined today by Zoo Deputy Director Don Goff, a Co-Chairman of the Felid Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) that oversees conservation efforts for the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) accredited institutions. Zookeepers Chris Barker and Bethany Thatcher and Vet Tech Jenny Gordon brought the tiger cubs out from the nursery for their introduction. Dancho announced the cubs’ names, Reka—which means “river” in Russian, and Zeya—the name of a tributary to the Amur river in Russia, acknowledging the cubs’ Russian heritage. Dancho also announced a new fundraising campaign to raise money for architectural drawings for a new tiger habitat. The first step is a $5,000 goal for architectural drawings to begin the planning process. The public is encouraged to donate at impactvine.com. The birth of the tiger cubs is a once in a lifetime experience for many of the Zoo staff, and for Zoo guests, said Dancho. “From the moment when we realized that their mother, Changbai, was not responding to the needs of her offspring, it was never guaranteed that the cubs would survive,” he explained. “This is the first time in the history of...

When the Weather Outside is Frightful at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Keeping Animals Healthy and Safe in Frigid Winter Temperatures BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – January 5, 2018 – Whether it’s a blustery day of snow, or a number of days in a row with bitterly cold temperatures, the animal care staff at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is prepared to keep their animal charges safe and warm. For most of the animals, their exhibits offer them the opportunity to choose whether they are outside or in, and they spend the day going back and forth. Some of the Zoo’s animals are delighted to be in the midst of snow and ice, ignoring their heated dens. That includes the North American River otters with their dense fur that prepares them for a deep freeze. The Amur leopards and Amur tigers are also frigid-weather hardy, as their native range is the cold winters of the Russian Far East and China, and they happily choose the snow and wind.  The Canada lynx is another species that finds January weather a breeze, with a native habitat that extends into Siberia, Alaska, and Canada. Many of the North American species have evolved in cold weather climates, with heavy fur to keep them warm in spite of harsh winds and deep snow. Species like the Bison, the Pronghorn, and the Red panda are well suited to the coldest temperatures. For the alligators and outdoor aviary turtle pond, the pool heater is turned up to 65 degrees. By increasing the temperature the heat rises off the water, and birds perch over the pond and absorb the radiant heat from the water. Christmas trees are put out for the raptors and...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives $10,000 grant from the PSEG Foundation

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – January 3, 2018 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $10,000 grant from the PSEG Foundation and the Corporate, Culture, and Citizenship Department on behalf of the Zoo’s Conservation Discovery Corps (CDC). The PSEG Foundation provides grants where PSEG Power Connecticut does business, including Bridgeport and New Haven, Conn. Their goal is to partner with the most effective organizations to strengthen communities and enhance quality of life in their territories. The CDC is a yearlong program 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 CDC is accepting applications now, through January 15, 2018. Training begins in February. “Our CDC Program encourages teens to become stewards of wildlife,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “We’re grateful for our partners in supporting teens in our community, giving them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and learn more about animal welfare.” Power Plant Manager Karl Wintermeyer said, “PSEG Power Connecticut believes that partnering with local organizations such as Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and their CDC Program is part of our core mission of excellence in environmental stewardship. Our strong relationships within the community help us identify and implement innovative environmental solutions, and contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of the communities where we live and work.” “These partnerships support our ability to invest in areas such as energy efficiency and solar energy, which are critical to our sustainable energy future,” he added. The Zoo is grateful to its many members, supporters, and corporate partners that help to educate, delight, and bring animal...

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives Neighborhood Assistance Act Grant from AVANGRID

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Dec. 21, 2017 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $9,384 grant from AVANGRID and its Connecticut companies, United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, aimed at helping improve energy efficiency and save on energy costs. Zoo Director Gregg Dancho accepted the grant, awarded under the auspices of Connecticut’s Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit Program. The state’s Neighborhood Assistance Act (NAA) Tax Credit Program provides a corporate tax credit to encourage businesses to provide financial support to qualified local nonprofit organizations. Since 2010, the Connecticut AVANGRID companies have awarded more than $2.9 million in grants through the program. “We are grateful to AVANGRID for their donation, which helps us allocate more resources to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s mission of animal conservation, education, research, and recreation,” said Dancho. “The Tax Credit Program is an effective way for corporations to help support our Zoo, and provide a positive impact for Connecticut residents.” “For our nonprofit partners, we know every dollar saved on energy is a dollar that can be spent on programs and services in the community,” said Anthony Maron III, president and CEO of Connecticut operations for Avangrid...