CT’s Beardsley Zoo Says Goodbye to Tiger Born at the Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will say goodbye next week to Reka, a female Amur tiger born at the Zoo, as she moves to a new permanent home. Born on November 25, 2017, Reka and her sister Zeya were raised by the Zoo’s animal care staff when their mother, Changbai, displayed no interest in her cubs. Zoo guests and supporters have followed Reka and Zeya’s journey from newborns whose survival was uncertain to the healthy young adult tigers they are today.

Managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), inter-regional transfers are arranged with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place. Last year, Zeya was sent to Rosamond Gifford Zoo as an excellent genetic match to that Zoo’s resident male tiger. Reka’s new home zoo will announce her arrival once a standard quarantine period is complete later this fall. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo remains home to Reka and Zeya’s mother, Changbai.

Amur tigers are very rare and are critically endangered in the wild. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) statistics, today Amur tigers are thought to occupy less than seven percent of their original range. Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, poaching, tiger-human conflict, and loss of prey, four of nine subspecies have disappeared from the wild just in the past hundred years. The future of the Amur tiger has been a major concern of the world’s zoos for many years as the species has been pushed toward extinction.

There is an SSP program in place for many species of animals through oversight by a group called the Taxon Advisory Group (TAG). The SSP makes breeding recommendations based on genetics, age and health of animals, and need for more of the species to protect future populations. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Deputy Director, Don Goff, is the Co-Chair of the National Felid TAG group. He leads a committee of AZA-accredited zoo members whose goal is to save declining species.

“As sad as we are to say goodbye to Reka, the planned transfer of animals to other member zoos ensures the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population,” explained Goff. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has had repeated success in breeding endangered species, a testament to the Zoo’s animal care specialists and the highest quality of animal care. The Zoo has been the birthplace of multiple endangered species in recent years, including Amur tiger cubs, maned wolf pups, red wolf pups, three baby Giant anteaters, and two Amur leopard cubs.

About Amur tigers

The Amur, once called the Siberian tiger, is a rare subspecies of tiger, and the largest cat in the world. Adult male tigers can weigh up to 675 pounds, with females weighing up to 350 pounds. Similar to people’s fingerprints, no two tigers have the same striped pattern. Amur tigers differ from other tigers with fewer, paler stripes, and a mane that helps to keep them warm. They live in southeast Russia as well as small areas of China and North Korea. They live for 10-15 years in the wild, and up to 22 years in human care.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 99th year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and red wolves. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, the Rainforest Building, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can ride on the carousel, grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization approaching its 100th year at a time when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and eco-systems is more important than ever.

Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org. In accordance with the state of Connecticut COVID-19 guidelines: we recommend that guests continue to wear masks while visiting the Zoo, but when guests are outside and can maintain social distance, masks may be removed. In any indoor area, or when social distancing cannot be maintained, masks are required. Everyone over the age of two, except for those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them, should have a mask available.

Flanders Haunted Hikes – Unspeakable Tales of Old Woodbury

Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust located on Flanders Road in Woodbury is excited to announce the Flanders Haunted Hikes are back! The Haunted Hikes are taking place on Fridays, October 22 & 29 and Saturdays, October 23 & 30 from 4PM to 8 PM on the Van Vleck Farm & Nature Sanctuary. Every 13 minutes 13 souls go out into the woods to encounter the unspeakable! Hermit Guides will take you across our fields and forests to experience the folklore and legends of Woodbury.

Between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM, join a family friendly hike for a not-so scary walk in the woods. But, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, be a braver soul for a spine chilling walk in the dark woods. The later walks are not recommended for children under 12 or the faint of heart!

Hikes will last about 30 minutes. Please leave your flashlights at home and come prepared for a night of adventure and dressed for the weather!

Cost is $7 per person. There will be seasonal refreshments available for purchase at the end of the hike. For more information on this event and to purchase tickets, please visit Flanders website at www.flandersnaturecenter.org or call (203) 263-3711.

About Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that focuses on environmental education, and on the acquisition, conservation, and stewardship of open space. Through its land trust initiatives, Flanders actively works to protect important natural sites and the area’s landscape character and quality of life. Flanders manages over 2,400 acres of preserved land in Woodbury and neighboring towns. Educational programs for children and adults are offered at the Van Vleck Farm Sanctuary, Flanders’ main campus in Woodbury. Trails at its major nature preserves are open to the public at no charge from dawn to dusk. For more information, call 203-263-3711 or flandersnaturecenter.org

Learn How to Make Native American Leather Pouches @ Institute for American Indian Studies

A Sunday afternoon is the ideal time to learn how to make your own leather Native American style pouch on October 17 @ the Institute for American Indian Studies. This in-person small group workshop has been organized in one-hour time slots from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Under the guidance of the museum’s Education Department, you’ll learn how Native Americans used leather for clothing, pouches, bags, and other items of daily life.

Native Americans historically used leather pouches to carry many of life’s necessities. Pouches were made from a variety of materials, some were woven, and others were made from the hides of different animals, most commonly deer.

Sign up for a workshop that is both educational and engaging, as you learn how to make your very own unique and practical leather pouch that you can decorate with buttons, stones, and shells. After you have completed your project, you may find that you have a newfound appreciation for the artistry that went into making some of the artifacts in the museum’s collections.

Sign up with your friends and family to reserve a timeslot by clicking here. For questions call 860-868-0518 or email general@iaismuseum.org. The cost of participation including materials is $25 per person for non- members and $20 for members.

About the Institute for American Indian Studies
The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Located on 15 acres of woodland IAIS is home to permanent and temporary exhibits, nature trails, and a replicated 16th century Replicated Algonkian village. During the school year, over 7,000 school-age children visit for hands-on programs to learn about the Indigenous people who have called Connecticut home for thousands of years.

Wilton Scavenger Hunt! October 16-23

Brand new to town? A resident for 50 years? A visitor that wants to learn more about this quintessential New England town? No matter, you will be amazed at what you don’t know about Wilton’s history, and the Wilton Historical Society is information central!

The History is Here! The Wilton Scavenger Hunt will kick off on Saturday, October 16. Come to the Wilton Historical Society’s Great Wilton Pumpkin Fest between 2 – 4 to register, pick up your Scavenger Hunt Kit, and set out to follow the clues to a dozen places around town. This is a great opportunity for family fun, to get outside, explore Wilton, and maybe even win a prize!

As you follow the clues, the History Is Here Wilton Scavenger Hunt will take you north, south, east, west, and in between as you discover places with a surprising past. Learn about war heroes, sports history, suffrage, sensational murder, and life in Wilton long ago. Follow the map (can your kids read a map?) to each location. Use your powers of observation to find and scan the QR code there – you will be rewarded with a short video with clues, historical photos, and a fascinating nugget of information about what happened at the very spot where you are standing. Put stickers on the map to mark the places you have found. Do it all in one day, or over the course of a week.

Return to the Wilton Historical Society on Saturday, October 23 from 3-4 pm for doughnuts and cider to celebrate all you have learned. There you can find out if you have won any of the amazing prizes that all registered participants have a chance at.

At the Great Wilton Pumpkin Fest, on Saturday, October 16th from 2:00 – 4:00, there will be pumpkins and mums for purchase, cider and doughnuts, blacksmith demonstrations, lawn games for kids, pumpkin decorating, and much more! Wilton Historical Society members free; non-member families $25.
Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897 203-762-7257

Amaryllis @ White Flower Farm

White Flower Farm is an icon in the Litchfield Hills that is known nationally for its extraordinary plant offerings and beautiful display gardens. If you like to plan ahead for the holidays, then check out the website offering of their glorious Amaryllis plants that will be in full bloom in December.

White Flower Farm is offering over 70 Amaryllis varieties and provides one of the best selections of this festive plant in the country. Their Amaryllis blubs are the top size commercially available, larger than what is generally available at retail stores, and produce incredible, ruffled blooms in a range of rich colors. White Flower Farm’s Amaryllis bulbs have been fully prepared at the proper temperature.

Given warm temperatures, strong light, and water upon arrival, they will put on a spectacular show 8 to 10 weeks later with blooms that will brighten up even the gloomiest winter day.

Dive Into History After School @ Glebe House

​If your children love early American history and want to delve into it the Glebe House is the place for them to be! The young Marshall Family Docent program beginning on Thursday, October 7, for five Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. will give children the chance to learn what life was like for families who lived in Woodbury, Connecticut during the Revolutionary War.

Children will learn how to conduct guided tours of the museum in period costumes and will be taught candle making, quill writing, and other colonial crafts. Highlights include a colonial cooking class, visiting area museums, and having lots of fun while learning about colonial life in one of the state’s most historic house museums.

The Marshall Children Young Docent Program is named for the nine children of John and Sarah Marshall who lived in the Glebe House from 1771-1786. These young docents are our greatest ambassadors in the community and participate in events like the Memorial Day Parade and the Woodbury Christmas Festival. All Hollow’s Eve, a wonderfully spooktacular event, now in its 18th year, would not be the same without the inclusion of young docents in the roles of some of Woodbury’s earliest citizens. This experience gives children a sense of history and expands their knowledge of our state’s cultural heritage that they can share with family members and their friends.

Please call the Museum Director for more information or to register at 203-263-2855.
Information, registration forms, and scheduled dates are available on our website at
www.glebehousemuseum.org. The cost for the Fall Session is $75 Members / $95 Non-Members. *All CDC and State Health & Safety guidelines will be followed. Activities will be held outside whenever possible. All children will be required to wear a mask when indoors.