A Message From Beardsley Zoo Director Gregg Dancho

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May 022020

Dear Friends,
After 40 years in the Zoo business, I thought I might have seen it all. Never would I have anticipated closing our doors, as spring began, without knowing when we could welcome you back. Never could I have anticipated my staff wearing masks throughout their workday to protect each other and the animals under our care. And never did I ever think I would get so many questions about a Netflix series.
Every day of this quarantine has given me the opportunity to reflect on my career here at the Zoo. What I found was my joy always came from the same place – my interactions with you!
Over the past 7 weeks, I have received calls from people I hadn’t heard from in years offering words of encouragement. The Zoo has received an abundance of cards and well wishes from our friends’ ages 2 to 92. We have received donations of hundreds of dollars and donations pooled from children’s allowances. And we have received donations from every corner of the world. The outpouring of support has made an impact on the entire staff as they continue to come to work each day to care for our animal residents.
I am overwhelmed by how the Zoo has played such a significant role in so many of your lives and how so many of you have asked what you can do to support your Zoo.
With that being said, I want to share with you some incredible news.
The Zoo just received a $100,000 challenge match from Pam Kochiss-Werth. Pam’s generous donation means that every dollar donated to our Emergency Operating Fund will be matched! Being able to raise $200,000 will have a significant impact on our recovery efforts.
As we continue to make hard decisions in order to protect the future of your Zoo, every dollar donated makes a difference. Our operating funds shortfall began on March 17 and continues today. Even once we reopen, many sources of income will remain unavailable to us as we continue social distancing.
As Governor Lamont begins to re-open Connecticut’s economy, it looks like the Zoo will soon be able to welcome you back. Our number one priority is keeping you, our staff, and our animals safe as we move forward. We appreciate your support and patience as we work together to figure out the coming months. Please look at our website for all the up-to-date information.
Please, share this incredible donor match opportunity with your friends and family.
We can’t do this without you!
All my best and please stay safe,
Click HERE to make a donation.