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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.

 

Beardsley Bart The Prognosticating Prairie Dog Makes His Prediction

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Feb 022017
 

Who needs Punxsutawney Phil when you have ‘Beardsley Bart?’ Beardsley Bart, Connecticut’s own Prognosticating Prairie Dog, came out early this morning to share his weather forecast with a small gathering of friends. Bart’s closest confidante, Gregg Dancho, director of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, served as his interpreter, along with Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim.

“Beardsley Bart is a very early riser and when he came out this morning, he confirmed that he did not see his shadow,” explained Dancho. “He’s happy to report spring is just around the corner and he looks forward to all his friends coming to visit him soon.”

Mayor Ganim added, “According to Beardsley Bart, spring is coming to Bridgeport, and spring is coming everywhere.” He emphasized that Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is everyone’s zoo. “It’s a great place and it’s the only zoo in the state. We need everyone to come and enjoy it,” he said.

NOTE: Punxsutawney Phil  ‘predicted’ six more weeks of winter, while Connecticut Groundhog Chuckles and Bart both predicted an early spring. — we’re with the local critters.

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.