August at the Beardsley Zoo

August at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport on 1875 Noble Ave. has a host of activities that promises fun for the whole family. Take the Rainforest Reptiles for example that are back at the Zoo by popular demand from August 1-17. These reptile shows feature exotic crawlers, unusual slitherers, and fascinating creepers, all of which are creatures of the rainforest. Participants will experience direct contact with live animals, artifacts, and hear fascinating stories about these unusual animals and their natural habitats. There are two shows daily Tuesdays – Thursdays and three shows on Friday – Sunday.

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There are two sessions of “Zoo Patrol”, the first from August 4-8 and the second from August 11-15. The Zoo Patrol offers children ages 6 – 8 the opportunity to participate in keeper talks, behind-the-scenes tours, animal related games, and crafts. Hands-on lab activities and nature studies may also be a part of the program. Sessions run on zoo grounds Monday through Friday. Each week is $140/child for Zoo members and $165/child for non-members.Advance registration is required. For more information and to register, please call 203-394-6563.

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On August 20, the Zoo is hosting a special evening lecture at 7 p.m. on Tree-Top Hideaways. Participants will learn about monkey movement and behavior with this month’s guest lecturer Kevin McLean. A highlight is the rush hour report from Panama – it’s a jungle out there! The suggested donation is $5. Refreshments will be served. This lecture, taking place in the Hanson Exploration Station, is part of the Evening Lecture Series, sponsored by Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Volunteer Association.

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On September 1, Labor Day, Zoo goers will bid farewell to the Zoo’s summertime guests, the three visiting camels.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Unplug and explore Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo! Connecticut’s only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopard, Brazilian ocelot, Mexican wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit www.beardsleyzoo.org. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Beardsley Zoo Invites Public to Share 90 Years of Photo Memories!


To help kick off its 90th birthday, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo launched “Picture Yourself at the Zoo,” a new program that invites the public to share favorite photos, both new and old. Both amateur and professional photographers are invited to participate and photos of people, animals, and scenery are welcome. Throughout the year, the Zoo will select photos to feature on its Web site, http://www.beardsleyzoo.com and on their Facebook page, and winners will receive a Family Four Pack of tickets to the Zoo.

“It never ceases to amaze me what fond memories folks have of the Zoo, from generation to generation, and these memories are often captured in cherished family photo albums that only a handful of people ever see,” stated Gregg Dancho, Zoo director. “What better way for us to showcase these special moments than by creating a community photo album for all to participate in and enjoy?”

Anyone may enter by e-mailing photos with the photographer’s name, e-mail address, and any details about the photo he/she would like to share publicly to PictureYourself@BeardsleyZoo.org. By submitting photo(s), the photographer retains ownership but gives Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo permission to use and publish the pictures without restriction in the future.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo celebrates its 90th birthday in 2012 and is closer than you think! Connecticut’s only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss the Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelots, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on a colorful carousel. For more information, visit www.beardsleyzoo.org.

Weekend at the Zoo!

I decided to take my niece Ella to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport this past Saturday – and we had a wonderful time! One of the best things about the Beardsley Zoo is how child friendly it is. The zoo has loads of interactive activities for young and old alike. Best of all, the Beardsley Zoo is just big enough without being overwhelming.Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo exhibits hundreds of animals, primarily from North and South America. Many of the animals are endangered or threatened species, which means there aren’t many of them left in the world.

A big hit with Ella, was the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas. We also enjoyed a stroll through the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep and other barnyard critters. Next, we took a walk along the hoofstock trail that featured bison, pronghorn, and deer.

High on our list too see was the Bald Eagle exhibit. A Zoo volunteer was on hand to tell us about two of the eagles, Temp and Kada that came to the Zoo from the Alaska Raptor Center. We learned that Bald Eagles use their talons to catch fish, and therefore tend to live near water sources such as lakes and rivers. We learned that they will scavenge carrion, steal other animals’ kills and catch small mammals. Bald Eagles, who have an average life span of 28 years, are believed to mate for life and build enormous nests for the pair of eggs they will lay each year.

Next we peeked in at the Brazilian ocelot kitten born January 22 and her mother, Kuma. Both cats were napping in a beautiful rainforest environment. We enjoyed looking through the foliage for a glimpse of the two rare ocelot kittens, Red & Maned. Next we were enchanted by the antics of the Golden Lion Tamarins…whose energy seemed boundless…just like Ella’s!

Our last stop was a walk through the “Alligator Alley” exhibit, home to five new alligators. The new deck gave us a terrific view of these reptiles as they went about their daily activities and feedings.

We learned from a volunteer on site that Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s alligators are between the ages of four and five and are still small, the largest weighing approximately 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 a conservation success story!

On our way to the Carrousel for a spin we stopped to admire two beautiful Amur (Siberian) tigers and the Andean (spectacled) bears.

About Beardsley Zoo

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. For more information, visit http://www.BeardsleyZoo.org

Snowy Owls Now On Exhibit At Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo


Harry Potter fans are in for a treat this spring at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo! The Zoo is pleased to welcome four Snowy Owls, two males and two females that were born last July at the Hannover Zoo in Germany. The four birds are brothers and sisters. One pair is currently on exhibit in the former Lynx exhibit, between the Amur tigers and Andean bears. A date for the other pair to make their public debut has not yet been determined.

“A lot of folks will recognize the Snowy Owl from its Hollywood debut in the “Harry Potter” series,” explained Gregg Dancho, Zoo Director. “Harry’s owl, Hedwig, served as a trusted ally to the young wizard. Our Snowy Owls won’t be delivering mail anytime soon, but we’re sure they will be a hit with the public.”

Like other northern species of raptors, these birds have proven to be very susceptible to West Nile Virus, resulting in their loss at a number of zoos and nature centers, as well as breeding facilities, over the last few years. Because conservation is a core part of the Zoo’s mission, efforts to locate an unrelated pair with which the birds may mate.

Weighing in around four to five pounds, the owls have an average wingspan of five and a half feet and stand about two feet tall. While the males are primarily white, the females have gray and black barring on their chests and wings making it easier to tell them apart. As the female birds get older, they will become whiter much like their brothers. The average lifespan of Snowy Owls in the wild is only about 10 years, but in captivity they can live for up to 25 or more years.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss our new Bald Eagle exhibit, Andean condors, Amur (Siberian) tigers, ocelots, red & maned wolves, Andean (spectacled) bear, llamas, vampire bats, and golden lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit http://www.beardsleyzoo.org