Beardsley Zoo: Have You (and Your Children) Visited The Tiger Cam Yet?

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Feb 132018

On Saturday, Nov. 25, the Beardsley Zoo welcomed a litter of extremely rare babies when their 10-year-old Amur tiger, Changbai, gave birth to four cubs. Only two of the four survived.

According to Zoo Director Gregg Dancho, There are only 500 Amur tigers known in the wild. “They are a sub-species of the Siberian tiger, and because the cubs are both female, they are among the most valuable big-cat cubs in the world.”

According to the zoo, Changbai became uninterested in nursing her kittens after the first one died. Zoo staff took the remaining three into their care, but another one died later that night.

The two surviving cubs, Reka and Zeya, are cared for in the Zoo hospital in a 90-degree ambient temperature enclosure to sustain the cubs’ warmth.

Dancho said, “Reka and Zeya almost never made it, and almost certainly would have died if they had been born in the wild. They were both underweight — just 2.2 pounds — and they were rejected by their mother.”

Now, at almost 3 months old, the cubs are spending most of the time in a playpen inside the zoo’s hospital building, cavorting with one another and exploring cardboard boxes and plastic chew toys. The sisters keep each other company, but, according to the zool if only one cub had survived, a dog would have had to be brought in as a surrogate sibling.

The zoo has set up a tiger cam so everyone can enjoy the girls’ antics from in their nursery every day, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The cubs take a lunch break from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., but you can still watch earlier footage of them during that time!

Difficult Beginning

When the cubs were born, they were underweight as Dancho said. When they are mature, they will weigh about 350 pounds.

The Amur tiger is not doing very well in the wild (just 500). in addition to the wild tigers, there are several hundred in zoos worldwide, including about 130 in North America, according to zoo officials. Only seven surviving cubs were born in the USA in 2017.

It’s important to note that the tigers are not owned by the Beardsley Zoo, but by a zoo collective. The goal is that after they mature, they’ll be able to give birth to several litters of their own.

Dancho said he hopes people will contribute to the zoo to help finance the construction of an expanded tiger exhibit. The project has been on his bucket list for some time.

“The one that we have isn’t bad, but it was opened about 40 years ago and it’s showing its age,” he said.

If you would like to help the zoo with the tiger exhibit, click this LINK.


Did Animals Act Differently During The Solar Eclipse?

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Aug 232017

The two endangered Amur Tigers got cozy during Monday’s Solar eclipse

What did you do during Monday’s Solar Eclipse? Did you watch NASA’s live feed? Put on some special glasses and experience it first hand? Take photos, like my friend Kevin out in Missouri where the coverage was 100%? Or just ignore it and go on with your day without doing anything special?

My granddaughter and I did not have the special glasses, so as an extension of our summer science experiments, we decided to go to the Beardsley Zoo and see if any of the animals acted differently.

Here’s what we observed:

At the peak of the eclipse, the maned wolves, which are usually quite docile, got into a tiff and had a tussle for a few minutes. None of the visitors had ever seen them act this way before.

The other wolves, both gray and red appeared agitated and were moving around their enclosures a lot more than usual. it was most noticeable with the male gray wolf, as he was right up front after he’d been nearly invisible for the past 3 weeks during our prior visits.

The two female Canadian Lynx kittens, who are always playful and testing their hunting skills on one another lay fast asleep for the longest time – before and after the eclipse.

The Big Cats, Leopards, and Tigers seemed to find romance on this special day. The male leopard came down from his rocky perch to check out the gorgeous female in the next enclosure.

The male tiger took particular interest in the female next door — she is a new arrival — and the two of them got really close nuzzling one another through the fence. She rolled around and he sprayed after whispering something in her ear. (Will we see Cubs in the near future?)

The red panda slept through the whole thing.

The howler monkeys and other apes were pretty much the same, climbing, cleaning one another, and being cute.

Just about every prairie dog was out and about, scurrying around and showing off for an adoring crowd. My granddaughter and I have been there a few times and we were lucky if we saw one or two outside.

The Vampire Bats, even though they are in a very controlled environment inside a building, were particularly active, flying around, clinging to the walls and spreading their wings. It was quite a show.

The most unusual behavioral change though was that of the River Otters, which are always having a good old time swimming and sliding and showing off. Before, during and after the eclipse they both were sleeping.

The two Condors that are almost never near one another when we visit actually shared a piece of meat just after the eclipse passed and the skies began to brighten.

As 2:45 p.m. approached the birds stopped singing and I didn’t notice any wild birds flying around either. About a half an hour after it was over, they returned and it was business as usual.




Beardsley Zoo Begins It’s “Town/City Days” Series

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Jun 222017

Every summer and fall, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave, Bridgeport, offers special admission pricing for one specific city or town in the area on one special Saturday.

To start things off, this week, Saturday, June 24 is Milford Day.

With proof of residency, Milford residents will be admitted to the zoo for only $5! Regular admission is $15 for adults 12 and older; $12 for children 3-11; $11 for seniors 62 and older; children under 3 years admitted free.

The Beardsley Zoo is a wonderful, nearby, easy day trip for anyone to enjoy. The new Female Amur Tiger is now out and looking beautiful basking in the sun. The prairie dogs have been particularly playful this month and the otters are simply entertaining as they splash and slide around in their pool.

We will let you know when Orange Day is coming up so you can plan to take advantage of this phenomenal discount.

Are You Going To The Orange Business Expo?

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Jun 112017

The 15th Annual Orange Business Expo will take place at the High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Expo is free to visit and open to the public and includes 56 vendors and these programs:

Blood Mobile organized by the Orange Visiting Nurses Association

Seminar:  Estate Planning provided by Floman DePaola

Passport Raffle – Free Entry to all that Attend

Zoo Critters provided by Beardsley Zoo

Body Fat Testing and Physical Fitness Advice provided by Crunch Fitness

For more information, call the OEDC Office at 203-891-1045, or via email at asliby@orangeedc.com

The Zoo Welcomes Changbai

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Jan 252017

An Amur Tiger

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, welcomed a new family member this week according to Zoo Director Gregg Dancho.

Changbai, a female Amur Tiger arrived earlier this week from the Philadelphia Zoo.

In the weeks to come, check out the zoo’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on when she will make her debut.

About the Amur Tiger

The Amur Tiger is native to Siberia, northern China and Korea.

It’s life span is 12-14 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity.

Males and females come together to breed and then separate. Females give birth to 2 to 3 cubs. The cubs may stay with their mom for up to two years.

The Amur Tiger is a critically endangered subspecies of tiger. Only about 350 of these great cats survive in northern Asia. All tigers are endangered and protected worldwide. They suffer from habitat loss and poaching.

NOTE: What does this have to do with Orange? — The Beardsley Zoo is CT’s only public Zoo and it is only about 10 minutes from town. The zoo offers intern and teaching programs for children and teens, in which many Amity High School students participate. The zoo depends on fundraisers and visitor contributions to stay open. We are a vital part of its’ survival, just as the zoo is a vital part of it’s animals’ survival.


Miniature Horses Going on Exhibit At The Beardsley Zoo

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Oct 262016

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-11-16-15-pmA pair of adorable miniature horses will be joining Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in the New England Farmyard starting in November.

The male, Nutmeg, and the female, Caramel, are both 8 years old and stand about 9 hands high, or about 36 inches at withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades).

The pair had been in a rescue situation and living on a horse farm in Vermont managed by one of the Zoo’s former employees. They hope you enjoy seeing these new additions to the Zoo next month.

PHOTOS: OEDC Hosts 15th Annual Expo

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Jun 082016

IMG_0354The Orange Economic Development Corporation hosted its 15th Annual Orange Business and Community Expo at the High Plains Community Center today, Wednesday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors enjoyed the food, served both inside and out, and visited a number of booths set up by local businesses and community organizations.

Always a favorite destination, the Beardsley Zoo brought along some interesting creatures and shared a lot of information about the state’s one and only zoo.

Here are some photos from the day:



Mark Your Calendars For The Orange Business and Community Expo on June 8

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May 162016


IMG_9597The Orange Economic Development Corporation will be hosting its 14th Annual Orange Business and Community Expo at the High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, on Wednesday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Expo is free and open to the public. Spread the word to all your friends, family, co-workers.

Start the day by signing up at the Welcome Center to receive your goodie bag and Passbook raffle.

Continue your day by enjoying food samples from various restaurants such as Chips, Coromandel, DiBellas Subs, Julia’s Bakery or buy a bag of Kettle Korn by Elm City and a slice of Pizza at Reno and Sons Truck for the ride home.

Returning this year, for kids of all ages, will be an Animal Exhibit by Beardsley Zoo and a first time appearance by the Barnum Museum. Network with 56 business vendors including, Crunch Fitness, Amity Insurance & Financial Services, Floman and Depaola Law Firm, Massage Green, Statefarm Insurance Agent Kevin Piscitelli,Orange Visiting Nurse Association, Renewal by Anderson and The Maids and many more.

A Business After Hours event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce will follow the Expo at Mexico Tipico Restaurant. Details are available at the Chamber of Commerce booth.

Also be sure to visit the Expo Marketplace area, where your favorite jewelers, cosmetic and other vendors will be selling their product.

Don’t leave without giving us your completed Passbook to qualify for the raffle.

We couldn’t do it without help from our Sponsors. A list of current Sponsors includes:

Signature:The United Illuminating Company; Gold: Cohen and Wolf, Northeast Electronics Corporation, Orange Economic Development Commission, Taylor Rental/Party Plus, University of New Haven, Yale University, and Bronze: Orange Fence and Supply.

Call the Orange Economic Development Corporation office at (203) 891-1045 for more information or visit the OEDC website at OrangeEDC.com/expo.htm.

Beardsley Zoo Offers Breakfast with Frosty and Friends

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Dec 092015

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.36.19 PMThe Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport, invites everyone to join Frosty and friends for Breakfast at the Zoo.

Characters will be available for photo opps and breakfast will be served, Dec. 12, 13, 19 and 20 from 9 to 10 a.m.

Cost is $10 per person for Zoo members, $15 per person for non-members. Price includes Zoo admission, photo opps, and breakfast.

Reservations are required. Call Amanda Bolanos at 203-394-6574.