BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Five animal candidates are vying for the much sought-after title of Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. This important election will decide the Zoo’s third Mayor, the highest-ranking animal official who will showcase the important role of animal ambassadors. Last year’s winner, Harry the Guinea hog, became a father of eight during his term, but a litter of piglets didn’t stop him from fulfilling his mayoral duties.
The five candidates who have made it past this year’s primary rounds to the general election are:
- Azriel the Common Raven: One of the most intelligent songbirds, Azriel got her candidacy off the ground with a flying start. With great raven problem-solving abilities, she is also an expert flier and can roll and somersault into a variety of political positions. When asked for her campaign slogan, she did some tapping and some rapping, then quoth, “Nevermore. And I am definitely not ‘common!’”
- Darwin the Gopher Tortoise: Darwin is an experienced leader. As a keystone species in the wild that shares the burrows they dig with up to 350 other species, she is both stubborn and persistent. Her campaign motto is: “Great is the power of steady representation,” a catchphrase borrowed from her namesake, Charles Darwin.
- Rhubarb the Two-Toed Sloth: Rhubarb is known to be level-headed, even when hanging upside down. As a member of a species that’s been around for sixty million years, Rhubarb believes what goes around, comes around. His campaign motto is: “If not today, tomorrow.”
- Gantry the Sandhill Crane: Many already consider Gantry to be the voice of the Zoo, as he is one of the loudest animals and can be heard throughout the grounds. He delights in letting everyone know what he’s thinking, a valuable skill as a politician. His campaign motto is “I speak for those without a voice.”
- Goncalo the Maned Wolf: The only candidate born at the Zoo, Goncalo’s long legs may help to lift him above the crowd of other mayoral job seekers. He says that he alone can make a stink to bring attention to critical Zoo issues. His campaign slogan is: ”My candidacy passes the smell test.”
“Once again, the race for Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is highly contested as each candidate attempts to win the support of voters,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “Unlike other elections, we encourage people to vote early, vote often, and stuff the ballot box.”
The election will be decided by online votes. The general public can vote for the candidate of their choice by making a one-dollar donation for each vote at https://e.givesmart.com/events/twA/. Voting begins on Tuesday, November 1. Polls close at four p.m. on Wednesday, November 9.
The winning Mayor will hold a 12-month term. All donations to the ballot box will be used to support the Zoo’s mission of conservation, education, research, and fun.
About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo:
Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 100th year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, and Mexican gray wolves and red wolves. Other highlights include our 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. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization celebrating its Centennial year when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and ecosystems is more important than ever. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org.