BRIDGEPORT, Conn. –— May 20, 2023-- Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd gathered for the official opening of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo new Andean Bear Habitat today. Zoo Director Gregg Dancho welcomed a large gathering of Zoo guests along with Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, in one of two covered viewing areas. Andean bear Cayambe wandered through the habitat and at one point came right up to the viewing window, to the delight of the guests.
The new habitat welcomes back a species that was last part of the Zoo’s animal family in 2011. This large and beautiful habitat for the arboreal (tree-climbing) bears features trees, two rock caves, a swimming pond and a hammock. Native to the Andes and outlying mountain ranges, the bears’ conservation status is listed as vulnerable, with a decreasing population in the wild. They are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Celebrates Endangered Species Day with First Annual ‘Achievements in Conservation’ Award
Educator Jennifer Farrell Selected as First Award Recipient for Citizen Science Advocacy and Educational Contributions
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 19, 2023 –Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo marked Endangered Species Day and the 50thAnniversary of the Endangered Species Act today with speakers and the presentation of the Zoo’s first annual ‘Achievements in Conservation Award.’ Senator Richard Blumenthal and Stephanie Kurose, senior endangered species policy specialist for the Center for Biological Diversity, both spoke at the ceremony.
This year, the 18th annual Endangered Species Day also marks the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a landmark piece of legislation that institutionalized our national commitment to the conservation of fish, plants and wildlife and the places they call home.
Jennifer Farrell, a Zoo educator for more than seven years, was chosen as the first recipient of the Achievements in Conservation Award for outstanding contributions to the field of conservation. Her advocacy and outreach efforts include directing the Zoo’s Citizen Science programs, FrogWatch USA, and Monarch Watch. The FrogWatch program trains volunteers to participate in a sound identification census and report data that is collected into a national scientific database. Farrell was also instrumental in establishing Monarch Watch, the monarch butterfly tagging program, at the Zoo. Hundreds of monarch butterflies have been tagged, including one individual butterfly that was identified in Mexico, verifying its journey of 2,657 miles from Bridgeport.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 17, 2023 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is happy to announce that the four North American river otter pups born on March 23 received their first wellness check today, and all are healthy and growing as expected. Zoo Veterinarian Timothy Plunkett examined each pup, checking their teeth, hearts and body condition, and then administered vaccines. The pups were weighed and microchipped for identification throughout their lifetimes.
There are two males, and two females, ranging in size from two and a half to two and three quarters pounds each. The seven-week-old pups are still in seclusion with their mother, Tahu, but are expected to begin venturing out into the habitat within the next few weeks. The river otter pups’ birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program, designed to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically stable population for the long-term future.
“River otters are extremely active and playful animals so it will be a great deal of fun for guests to watch the four pups grow,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “The connection guests make with the otter pups encourages them to care about protecting wild animals and wild places, a key part of the Zoo’s mission.”
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Partners with Connecticut STEM Foundation for Cool Blue Essay Contest
Essay Contest for Students in 8th through 12th Grades
Bridgeport, Conn., May 4, 2023--Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is proud to partner with the Connecticut STEM Foundation, Inc. in an essay contest for area students in 8th through 12th grades. Students are challenged to show in a 500-word essay how they might solve one of three environmental problems: air pollution, water pollution, or garbage/trash problems.
Cash prizes will be awarded to winning essayists:
· First Place: $500
· Second Place: $200
· Third Place: $100
· Honorable Mention: $50
Contest rules and entry submission links can be found at https://ctstemfoundation.org/2023/05/02/cool-blue-bridgeport-essay-contest-2023-due-friday-may-22nd/
The contest guidelines state: In its efforts to make life better for human beings, modern society has brought about many environmental threats that are endangering wildlife, causing air and water pollution and creating climate change. Many of these problems seem to be so big and far-reaching, but students can and do make a difference.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo appreciates the support it receives from local, regional and national media outlets. Media representatives are invited to tour