Children Invited to Area Libraries on Saturday, June 22 to Search Books on Monkeys for 500 Hidden Prizes
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – May 22, 2019 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Director Gregg Dancho announced today an “a-peeling” way to win prizes at the Zoo while supporting literacy and reading. To celebrate the arrival of a new pair of Black-handed Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi geoffroyi), the Zoo is sponsoring a Golden Ticket “Bananza” of prizes, with participating public libraries in a number of towns throughout the area.
Five hundred Golden Ticket Bananas will be hidden in books, with prizes for one free child’s birthday party, multiple yearly family memberships, free passes for families and individuals, free monkey plush toys, discounts at the Zoo gift shop, soft serve ice cream cones and carousel rides. There is one Grand Prize of a Behind the Scenes Tour at the Zoo.
On Saturday, June 22, children and their families are invited to the libraries to search through books on monkeys, both fiction and non-fiction, in the children’s book departments. Libraries participating in the Golden Banana Bonanza are in the following towns: Trumbull, Wilton, Milford, Weston, New Canaan, Monroe, Stratford, Easton, Newtown, three branches in Fairfield, Danbury, Cheshire, Derby, the main library in Waterbury, Beacon Falls, Seymour, both branches in Shelton, Hamden, and all branches in Bridgeport.
The official Grand Opening of the Spider monkey habitat, proudly supported by the Bradshaw-Mack family, is scheduled for Saturday, June 29. The 21st century habitat features a landscaped outdoor yard with multiple opportunities for climbing and engaging in social behaviors. The monkeys will have free choice whether to be inside or outside, and large guest viewing windows will be offered in both indoor and outdoor locations. The new habitat was once home to elephants, which were removed from the Zoo and sent to more appropriate living quarters in 1985. The habitat also once housed Capybara, Chacoan peccaries, and a visiting pair of warthogs.
“Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo continues to grow, allowing us to expand on our mission of animal conservation and education. The South American Spider monkeys are another chapter in the story of diversity and richness of life in South America,” said Gregg Dancho, Zoo director.
“Our heartfelt thanks to the Bradshaw-Mack family, the City of Bridgeport and Mayor Joe Ganim for helping to fund our newest habitat,” Dancho added. “The Golden Ticket “Bananza” celebrates our new Spider monkey habitat by adding fun to summer family outings, and encouraging a love for reading and wildlife.”
About Black-handed Spider Monkeys
Black-handed Spider monkeys (genus Ateles geoffroyi geoffroyi) are large, extremely agile monkeys that live in tropical rainforests from southern Mexico through Central and South America to Brazil. In spite of their thumbless hands, this primate can move swiftly through the trees, using its long tail as a fifth limb, sometimes suspending by its tail while eating. They spend much of their time in treetops, foraging for food: nuts, fruits, leaves, bird eggs, and spiders. They can be noisy and communicate with many different calls, screeches, and barks. The coat color varies from light buff to reddish-brown or black, and as the common name implies, the hands and feet are usually black. Both males and females weigh approximately five pounds, and normal lifespan is 22 years, both in human care and in the wild. Their survival is threatened by hunting, and habitat destruction from logging and deforestation. Spider monkeys are a highly threatened species, with three species listed as critically endangered, five as endangered and one as vulnerable. The Black-handed Spider monkey is endangered, with a decreasing population in the wild.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo appreciates the support it receives from local, regional and national media outlets. Media representatives are invited to tour