CT's Beardsley Zoo Launches Extreme Makeover Eagle Edition

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo launched its Fall 2023 Appeal this past weekend at the Zoo’s Gala, an opportunity for Zoo supporters to help makeover the existing bald eagle habitat at the Zoo. 

The Zoo has been home to bald eagles for over 40 years. The current resident eagle, Kodiak, has been in a temporary habitat for the past year to lessen the impact of environmental concerns. That temporary habitat will soon be removed as construction gets underway for the Zoo’s multiyear tiger habitat renovation. 

This newly renovated exhibit is projected to cost $200,000 and will include a protective cover, enhanced pond, and additional perches. The new habitat will also have the ability to hold more rehabilitated birds, helpful for the population of injured birds in need of a home. In addition, guests can look forward to an enhanced covered viewing area to see and experience our national bird.

This year, the Zoo is encouraging scout groups, classrooms, families and other individuals to help raise funds. Resources can be found on the appeal page for creating a fundraising page, setting your goal, and spreading the word. Groups that raise $500 or more will receive a bald eagle adoption box.

Kicking off the Zoo’s Peer to Peer Fundraising efforts are Pauline Wells and Ela Larrea, both members of Girl Scout Troop 50301 in Greenwich. Their plans as part of their Girl Scout Silver Award include engaging the Greenwich community through outreach to the Greenwich School District. Asking local businesses to contribute a percentage of daily sales has begun with the enthusiastic support of VR Brothers Carwash.  A candy/snack stand will also help to raise money and increase awareness about the needs of the Zoo. Visit the Girl Scout fundraising site here: EagleAppeal.givesmart.com.

“We believe it is important to protect eagles and other wildlife because they are such a vital part of our ecosystems,” said Wells. “We chose Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo because they have many endangered animals. Not only is it the only Zoo in Connecticut, but it is AZA-accredited.”

“The generosity of our supporters makes a difference not only for the animals in our care like Kodiak, but also for the more than 300,000 guests each year who have made the Zoo a beloved destination for education and fun,” Dancho added. “We’re grateful to the many members, sponsors, and supporters who step forward every year to ensure we meet our goals.” 

Online donations can be made at www.beardsleyzoo.org/appeal, or checks can be mailed to 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06610. Development Director Ashley Volkens can be reached directly at 203-394-6573, or at avolkens@beardsleyzoo.org. Donations of cash, stocks, in-kind and planned gifts result in enhanced animal exhibits, expanded educational programming, important conservation and breeding efforts, additional guest services, and the long-term sustainability of the Zoo. 

About Bald Eagles

Bald eagles were once abundant in America but by the start of the 20th century, the bald eagle population had been drastically reduced due to habitat destruction, hunting, and chemical pesticides. In the 1970s, the bald eagle was placed under the protection of the new Endangered Species Act and DDT, a chemical affecting the bald eagle’s survival, was banned. The enforcement of strict pesticide guidelines and hunting restrictions has allowed the bald eagle population to increase, removing the bald eagle from the endangered species list. Any bald eagle in human care must be non-releasable to the wild, following an injury and rehabilitation. Kodiak was injured in a car accident in Alaska several years ago. 

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About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Get your ticket to adventure! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 101st year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur leopards, maned wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and American red wolves.  Other highlights include our new Andean Bear Habitat, Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove.  As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participant in its Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, the non-profit Zoo is committed to the preservation of endangered animals and wild habitats. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org

Photo Credits

Eagle photos by Jack Bradley

Girl Scout photo, left to right, Pauline Wells, Ela Larrea, Girl Scout Troop 50301 in Greenwich, CT. Photo by Ashley Volkens

Submitted by Fairfield, CT

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