Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim Issued Proclamation in Support of Wildlife Protection

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo celebrated the 12th annual Endangered Species Day with a special proclamation by Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim on Friday, May 19  at the Zoo. Annie Hornish, Connecticut senior state director of the Humane Society of the U.S., also attended and spoke on behalf of endangered animals. Started in 2006 by the U.S. Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places.

Many of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s 300 animals are endangered or threatened in their natural habitats, including the Red and Mexican Wolves, Brazilian Ocelot, Amur Tigers, and others. Conservation and protecting endangered species is a key part of the Zoo’s mission, with 25 cents from each paid admission to the Zoo earmarked for helping critically threatened or endangered animals. Most recently, in March 2017, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo pledged a donation of $2,000 to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) effort to save a small species of porpoise, the vaquita.

“We want to save animals in the wild, and to protect them in the Zoo,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “We’re working with the Russian government to have a release program for Amur leopards in the next few years. We’ve had our Golden Lion tamarins and Red wolf puppies released back into the wild. And we’re announcing for the first time that we’ve had two Canada lynx kittens born. They’re about three weeks old. This is the first time that Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has had lynx kittens, so we’re very excited about that.”

Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim then issued a proclamation affirming the city’s commitment to protecting wildlife so that residents can enjoy living in an area of natural beauty, and noted the importance of the Beardsley Zoo as the only zoo in the state of Connecticut.

One reason for the nation’s success in protecting wildlife is the passage, 43 years ago, of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act has successfully prevented the extinction of hundreds of species, including the humpback whale. Many of our nation’s signature species, such as the Florida panther, Hawaiian monk seal, and Alabama red-bellied turtle, owe their continued existence to the protections of the Act.