Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo added to its extensive list of community outreach platforms today by announcing a second set of webcams: two additional cameras are placed for viewing the pair of Spider monkeys and a Giant anteater via the Zoo’s website. The Spider monkey habitat webcams are in addition to the Zoo’s existing webcams in the Red Panda habitat. Like the Red pandas’ webcams, visitors to the Zoo’s website can choose either an inside or outside camera for viewing. (https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/zoo-cams.html)
Another fun Zoo intiative is “Do You Have a Zoo at Your House?” which asks children to draw pictures and write letters for their favorite Zoo animals or take photos of how they’ve created a zoo of their own at home, using plush animals, blocks, Legos or costumes. The Zoo’s website (www.beardsleyzoo.org) will include a page where the children’s art, letters and photos will be posted for all to enjoy, as well as featured on the Zoo’s social media accounts.
The monthly Zoo Tots program for children aged 22 months to four years has also become digital and can be accessed on the Zoo’s YouTube page. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mGLG9H0W8o)
Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said, “While closing the Zoo at the beginning of our peak season is a financial hardship, our staff of educators, animal care specialists and support team members take our responsibilities as the state’s only Zoo seriously. Whether open or closed, our animals must be cared for, and our community education and interaction must continue. We hope that teachers, parents and students find their jobs made a little easier with our science-based, educational content and videos.”
The Education staff has pivoted from on-grounds education programming to internet-based, Distance Learning initiatives for students of all ages. Zoo educators have filmed a variety of Next Generation Science Standards-compliant videos, making them available on the Zoo website, via social media, to broadcasting partners, and as resources for the state’s outreach to teachers.
The Zoo offers Facebook Live sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2:00 p.m., with a different focus each day: Science-based learning from the Education staff, a Zookeeper Chat, or a visit with Zoo Director Gregg Dancho and an animal of his choice.
As a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, the Zoo relies on ticket sales, school visits, memberships, education program fees, donations and meeting and rental revenue to operate. Being closed is resulting in a significant impact on the operating budget. Any size donation to our emergency operating fund will assist in the care of our animals and team members. Donations can be sent to: https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/emergency-fund.html.
About Connecticut’s Beardsley ZooLet your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 98th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolf family, Brazilian ocelot, Mexican and Red wolves, and Golden lion tamarins. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, and updates on the Zoo’s closed status, visit beardsleyzoo.org.