Tiger Returns to Connecticut to Celebrate ‘Happy Zoo Year!

Vicktor the Siberian Tiger

In an attempt to beat the holiday traffic, Viktor, an Amur (Siberian) tiger, has arrived at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. He has returned home for the holidays and the Zoo is inviting visitors to help welcome him back to Bridgeport and celebrate “Happy Zoo Year” with half price admission from December 26-30, 2011. Also new on exhibit are two Maned wolves, the Zoo’s rare Chacoan peccary piglet, and a baby Pronghorn. Viktor was one of three cubs born in 2004 at Connecticut’s only Zoo and was transferred to the Detroit Zoo in 2008. He will be ready to greet his East coast fans after Christmas.

“We are thrilled to have Viktor back home and just in time for the holidays,” Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said. “The song says, “Baby, it’s cold out there” but with the beautiful weather we’re having and a mild winter forecast, there’s no better time to come out and meet the newest additions to our Zoo family.”

Amur tigers range from nine to12 feet long and grow to be 400-500 pounds. These enormous animals have pale, yellow-orange fur that shades to a creamy white and pale blackish stripes with a distinctive pattern on the face as unique as a fingerprint. These big cats may be found in a variety of habitats including grasslands and evergreen forests and their diet consists mostly of deer, wild boar, elk, lynx, bear, fish, hares, and birds. Their long fur coat, about one to three inches long, protects them in temperatures to 50 degrees below zero. Booskin, the most recent male tiger at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, was moved to Racine Zoo in Wisconsin to make room for Viktor. The Zoo hopes Viktor will successfully mate with Naka, their female Amur tiger.

Maned Wolf at the Beardsley Zoo

Also new to the Zoo this winter are two Maned wolves. The two female wolves are sisters, born last spring in North Carolina. TheManed wolves have access to a heated enclosure, as they are not fans of Connecticut’s cold winters. Often mistaken for foxes, the Maned wolf ranges from four to four and a half feet in length, weighing in around 44-50 pounds. They like to eat rodents and other small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and will go for the occasional fruit and vegetables at times.

Zoo’s Holiday 2011 Schedule:

The Zoo will be open for half days on the day BEFORE Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Sat, 12/24/2011 – 9:00am – 1:00pm Tue, 12/27/2011 – 12:00pm – Thu, 12/29/2011 – 3:00pm

The last visitor will be admitted at Noon and the doors will close at 1:00 pm.

Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day – CLOSED

Holiday & Winter Carousel, Café, and Gift Shop Hours:

Monday and Tuesday – Café and Carousel closed Wednesday thru Friday – Café and Carousel open at 10:00 am and close at 3:00 pm Monday thru Friday – Gift Shop opens at 10:00 am and closes at 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday – Café, Carousel and Gift Shop open at 9:00 am and close at 4:00 pm

About the Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and is open daily from 9 am – 4 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. For additional information www.beardsleyzoo.org.

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