August is Alligator Month at the Zoo!

Thu, 08/11/2011

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - August 11, 2011–Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo concludes its summer programming schedule with Rainforest Reptiles, a dynamic, interactive, and educational show that is sure to engage and excite young and old alike.Rainforest Reptiles features over 200 exotic reptiles, ranging from iguanas, Burmese pythons, and boa constrictors to lizards, turtles, and American alligators. All shows will be free with paid admission to the Zoo. Visitors also will appreciate the Zoo’s newly renovated “Alligator Alley” exhibit, which is home to five new alligators. Improvements were funded bya generous community grant from Trumbull-based Unilever.

“Everything just came together to make alligators the focus of our August programming,” explained Gregg Dancho, Zoo director. “Our Alligator Alley exhibit is vastly improved thanks to our friends at Unilever and as a special treat, we are excited to close out the summer withthe Rainforest Reptiles show. If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures – in a totally safe environment –Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the place to be this month.”

Rainforest Reptile Shows ( features exotic crawlers, unusual slitherers, and fascinating creepers, all of which are creatures of the rainforest. Experience direct contact with live animals, artifacts, and fascinating stories about these unusual animals and their natural habitats. Rainforest Reptiles’rare albino alligator, one of only 30 known in the world, will be on display in its own special exhibit during the four days the show is at Connecticut’s only zoo. Rainforest Reptiles is at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for a limited engagement with performancesfrom Thursday, August 25 through Sunday, August 28. Showtimes on Thursday and Friday will be at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday will offer shows at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. All shows will be free with paid admission to the Zoo.

Alligator Alley’s redesigned exhibit accommodates the five new alligators,all male, which reside there. A new deck has been constructed for the alligators, allowing visitors to better observe these reptiles as they go about their daily activities and feedings. A new roof now providesvisitors with shading and protection from the elements, andthe new audio system allows zookeepers to better interact with the audience. A higher plexi-glass wall prevents debris from easily falling in.

“Unilever is committed to supporting the exceptional conservation efforts of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo to protect our Earth’s animals, plants, and their natural habitats,” sharedKathy Hefferle, a Manager at the Unilever R&D Trumbull Facility.“We are thrilled to provide a Community Outreach Grant for the design and building of the new Alligator Alley Exhibit. Unilever proudly continues to assist the Zoo in its many worthwhile endeavors, both through volunteering and grant funding.” 
Alligators have been around longer than the dinosaurs, almost 65 million years, and are relatively unchanged in that time. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s alligatorsare between the ages of four and five and are still small, the largest weighingapproximately 55 lbs, while the smallest averages 30 lbs. They range from four to five feet long. Known to grow continuously throughout their lives, these creatures are known to reach lengths of thirteen to twenty feet and weights from 400 to 2,000 pounds.They can bite down with 2,000 pounds of pressure with a mouth that contains 65 teeth. Formerly an endangered species, more than one million adult alligators live in the wild today, representing aconservation success story!

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $12.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $10.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members are also admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For information, call: (203) 394-6565. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is located at 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut.