Home » Postcards from the Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport, CT, USA

Postcards from the Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport, CT, USA

amur Leopard - photo by Jack Bradley
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Amur Tiger by Jack Bradley

There is something magical about visiting zoos and spending time with animals that bring out the child in all of us, and the Beardsley Zoo located in Bridgeport, Connecticut is fun for all ages. Founded over 90 years ago the Beardsley Zoo located inside the gorgeous Beardsley Park has evolved into more than just a zoo providing home to endangered and vanishing animals as well as rescued animals, it is also a learning center, botanical garden, is a certified AZA (Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) that "design and maintain Species Survival Plans (SSP), and so much more, which we "discovered" on our visit there.


Welcome to the Beardsley Zoo

We visited the Beardsley Zoo on Sunday, May 2, 2021, which was a gorgeous warm and sunny day perfect for strolling through the impressive zoo, as evidenced by the many couples and families of all ages that we saw visiting. The shared commonality of all the visitors was one of excitement at experiencing the zoo and seeing the many wonderful animal residents.

Beardsley Zoo - Fun time - Edward F. Nesta - Photo by Luxury Experience


Beardsley Zoo - Fun time - Debra C. Argen - Photo by Luxury Experience
Competing Wingspan


The first "resident" we saw and learned about was an Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), an endangered species that the Beardsley Zoo is working to monitor and protect as part of their conservation efforts. Interesting facts about this majestic bird is that it has raven black feathers, a bright white neck ruff, can reach a height of 4-feet tall, can weigh up to 33 pounds, and has a wingspan of 10-12 feet. It has a lifespan in the wild of 50 years and over 75 years with human care. We also learned that we could distinguish the males from the females by looking at their eye color (males have brown eyes and females have red eyes) and learned that only males have a crest on their heads. As a way of size comparison, Andean Condors have a wingspan of 120-inches, Bald Eagles reach 80-inches, and Red-Tailed Hawks reach 49-inches. When we saw the sign showing the wingspans of the various birds, of course we had to pose next to the sign and see how we measured up. (Edward’s) wingspan was closer to the Andean Condor, while (Debra’s) wingspan was closer to the Bald Eagle.

Chacoan Peccaries - photo by Luxury Experience
Chacoan Peccaries

The Beardsley Zoo’s focus is not only on providing exceptional care, nutrition, and enrichment in the forms of new scents, toys, or location of food to retain the animals’ natural curiosity and hunting or foraging instincts, but also on Species Survival of endangered animals. Another adorable animal we saw was the Chacoan Peccaries (Catagonus wagneri), whose status is endangered, and are part of the zoo’s Species Survival Plan animals. Interesting to note, is that they are the largest of the three types of peccaries, and although they resemble pigs, they are not pigs.

Amur Tiger - photo by Jack Bradley
Amur Tiger

Tigers! We loved watching the stunning Amur Tigers (Pantera tigris altaica) that can reach 8-12 feet in length and weigh 250-400 pounds (females) and 400-650 pounds (males). The Amur Tiger is considered a Vanishing Animal and is an Endangered Species. All tigers are endangered and protected and the Amur Tiger is critically endangered. Interesting to note is that Amur Tigers are larger than Bengal Tigers (8 -10 feet in length, weight 300-500 pounds), and Sumatran Tigers (7-8 feet in length, weight 220-300 pounds).

Amur Leopard - Orion and Kallisto - photo by Jack Bradley
Amur Leopards – siblings Orion and Kallisto

Also stunning to watch were the Amur Leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) siblings Orion (the male) and Kallisto (the female), who were born at the Beardsley Zoo on January 25, 2019. Their proud mother is named Freya. Especially interesting to note is that Kallisto has an extremely rare black color variant. The leopard cubs were hand-reared by the Zoo staff as part of their Species Survival work. The Amur Leopard is a subspecies of leopard and their numbers are dwindling. We learned how to identify and distinguish Amur Leopards from Jaguars and Cheetahs by looking at their patterns on the educational sign placed near the Amur Leopard exhibit.

Red Wolf -Kawoni - photo by Jack Bradley
Red Wolf

There were many types of wolves at the Zoo including the Red Wolf, the Mexican Wolf, and the Maned Wolf, and we enjoyed seeing them and learning interesting facts about each of them including the history and mythology of wolves. We were especially impressed by the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), a gorgeous animal with red fur and a black mane, black "stockinged" long legs, with white trim on his ears, under his chin, and on his bushy tail. Resembling a combination of a wolf and a fox, we learned that despite its "wolf" name, "the Maned Wolf is not closely related to any other living canid and is the only member of the Chrysocyon genus."

Maned Wolf - photo by Luxury Experience
Maned Wolf

When it comes to being adorable, we loved seeing the Spider Monkeys sleeping curled up together on a ledge, watching the antics of the Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs, seeing the Miniature Horses, African Pygmy Goats, and so many other wonderful animals.

Miniature Horse - photo by Luxury Experience
Miniature Horse

In addition to its many animals at the Beardsley Zoo, there are beautiful gardens to explore, and places to relax and soak up the beauty and the sounds of nature. We loved strolling through the various gardens, reading the signs noting the types of plants, and taking time to reflect in the gazebo and the stone garden.

Dazzle - A Garden o Glass - by Peter Greenwood - photo by Luxury Expereince
Dazzle – A Garden of Glass
by Peter Greenword

We were dazzled by the "Dazzle – A Garden of Glass" (runs until May 17, 2021) exhibition featuring the glass artistry of Connecticut glass artist, Peter Greenwood, in the historic Victorian greenhouse. Five hundred pieces of inspired glass art were placed amongst the plants and flowers, hanging from the trees, and floating on the water where colorful koi swam among them. The shapes and bright colors of the glass art were spectacular with the sun streaming in through the glass panels of the greenhouse. Visiting the greenhouse was also educational as we learned about the history of koi, and learned about pitcher plants that eat insects, and the symbiosis nature of plants and various insects and animals.

We loved our visit to the Beardsley Zoo where there was so much to do and see, and beginning in June 2021, the farm animal section will be open creating even more fun. Do allow a minimum of 2-hours to experience all that the Zoo has to offer as there are food concessions and picnic tables to relax and enjoy your snacks. Located 19 miles from New Haven, 28 miles from Greenwich, 55 miles from Hartford, and 58 miles from Manhattan, the Beardsley Zoo is a perfect destination to spend the day.

We sign our postcard, With Love from Luxury Experience! Get out and enjoy nature and meet the wonderful residents of the Beardsley Zoo!

Beardsley Zoo - Fun time - Edward F. Nesta - Photo by Luxury Experience
See you at the Beardsley Zoo

Until next time, keep enjoying travel with Luxury Experience!

Beardsley Zoo Information

"Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has a proud history of over 90 years as Connecticut’s only Zoo. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participant in its Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, we are committed to the preservation of endangered animals and are actively developing strategies that will protect species and preserve their wild habitats. Through education, conservation, research and recreation, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo provides a wonderfully wild experience for students and families."

Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Admission: Tickets can only be purchased online and must be purchased prior to your visit. Adults (13 + years): $16, Children (3 – 11 years) and Seniors (62+ years): $13, Ages 2 and under: Free.

For more information on the Beardsley Zoo and their upcoming special events and programs, please visit their website: www.beardsleyzoo.org

Beardsley Zoo - Bridgeport, CT

Beardsley Zoo
1875 Noble Avenue
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06610-1646
United States
Telephone: +1-203-394-6565
Email: Info@beardsleyzoo.org
Website: www.beardsleyzoo.org
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ConnecticutsBeardsleyZoo/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ctbeardsleyzoo/ @ctbeardsleyzoo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CTBZoo @ctbzoo

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