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Miniature Horse

Miniature Horse

Miniature Horse (Equus ferus caballus) Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s New England Farmyard has welcomed two delightful new residents. Two Miniature Horses have joined us from a rescue situation in Vermont. Nutmeg is a male and Caramel is a female. They were both born in 2008 and they are 9 hands (36 inches) tall. The height of all equine species is measured in “hands”. One hand equals 4 inches. Equine height is measured at the withers (the top of the shoulders where the mane ends). A Miniature Horse is shorter than the smallest pony yet they have the same proportions as a full-size horse except for their eyes. DESCRIPTION:  Miniature Horses look exactly like regular horses only much, much smaller. Their body proportions are the same. The one difference in proportion is their eyes. Miniature Horses have large eyes. Miniature Horses are mammals. They have some of the largest eyes amongst mammals. Their eyes can give them 360 degrees of vision. Although they are small they are quite strong. They have dainty hooves that are made of the same protein as human hair and fingernails. Their nose could fit into a person’s hand. A small child will be eye level with a Miniature Horse. Full-grown Miniature Horses weigh between 150 and 250 pounds. The tallest they can grow and still be considered a Miniature Horse is 38 inches. Foals will reach 90% of their adult height by the time they are one year old. Miniature Horses come in a wide range of colors and patterns. In the warmer months their coat is thin to allow them to keep cool in the heat...
White-Tailed Deer

White-Tailed Deer

White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) White-tailed Deer are the smallest members of the North American Deer family. They make their home in forest habitats during winter months and in fields and meadows during warmer months. We are fortunate to have them as wild residents of both Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and Beardsley Park. They get their name from the fur on the underside of their tail. The top is reddish-brown but the underside is white fur. They display and wag their tails when they sense danger. Description:As adults, White-tailed Deer have furry coats that are a reddish brown which fades to a grayish brown in winter months. They have white patches of fur on their lower legs and faces.The young have reddish-brown coats with white spots that help as camouflage. Adult females are called does and the young are called fawns. Adult males are called bucks and they grow antlers every year in April or May that have a layer of velvet on them. In August or September, the antlers shed their velvet and are used in sparring matches with other males for mating rights. The antlers fall off in winter. Each year that the antlers grow back, they are larger and have more points.If a buck reaches an advanced age, the antlers may grow back smaller and thinner. White-tailed Deer, on average, weigh between 125 and 300 pounds. Their bodies are between 5 and 7 feet long. At the shoulder, they are between 2 and 4 feet tall. They have good eyesight and hearing. They are shy, nervous and easily startled. They use speed and agility to outrun predators. They...
Red Panda

Red Panda

Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens)   Description: Red pandas can reach a size of 42 inches long, including a long, bushy tail.  They weigh between 7 and 14 pounds and have a lifespan of about 8 years in the wild and up to 15 years in zoos. Habitat: Remote mountainous areas of dense forest and bamboo thickets. Range: High-altitude (3,000 to 12,000 feet) mountain forests and bamboo thickets in south central Asia, from the Himalayas to southern China. Diet: Bamboo leaves and fresh shoots, as well as berries, blossoms, bird eggs, and small plant leaves. Life Span: Three to five years in the wild: up to ten years in captivity. Status: Endangered Rainforest Building open daily from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm Red pandas have a taste for bamboo, but unlike their larger relatives, they eat many other foods as well: fruit, acorns, roots, and eggs.  Similar to giant pandas, they have a modified wrist bone that acts as a sixth digit or thumb. While the red panda’s scientific names means ‘fire-coloured cat,’ they actually have more in common with bears and raccoons.  Their soft, dense fur covers their entire body, including the soles of their feet.  They use their long, bushy tails to balance when they’re in trees – and also to cover themselves in winter. This mild-mannered animal can defend its territory by standing on its hind legs and using its sharp claws to strike out if threatened.  The red panda can also release a strong odor from scent glands at the base of the tail that may make a predator think twice about a red panda...
Giant Anteater

Giant Anteater

Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) Two Giant Anteaters now call Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Pampas Plains home. Both the female, named Pana, and the male, named EO, were born in 2009. If you are not familiar with the Giant Anteater you may be confused at first glance as to which end is front and which is the back. Keep in mind they have bushy tails and long noses. They are quite good swimmers and use their long nose as a snorkel. DESCRIPTION:  Giant Anteaters are the largest of the anteater species. They can weigh up to 100 pounds and be up to seven feet long. They have a long narrow head and snout, small eyes and round ears. At the end of the snout or jaw is a small, black, moist nose similar to a dog’s nose. Their fur is coarse and may be gray or brown. They also have a white-banded black stripe that runs along the body. They have bushy tails which can be two or three feet long with the fur hanging down up to 16 inches. Giant Anteaters have one of the lowest body temperatures in the animal kingdom at 91 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. They are considered edentate animals because they have no teeth. The Latin name for anteater is Vermillingua which means, “worm tongue”. A Giant Anteater’s tongue can be as long as two feet! They use their long, sticky tongues that can flicker up to 160 times per minute to grasp ants, termites and other insects. Giant Anteaters use their sharp front claws to make an opening in an anthill or termite mound so...
Amur Leopard

Amur Leopard

Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) Description: The Amur Leopards have long legs and their fur is much longer than that of other leopards. The fur allows them to hunt yet still keep warm in deep snow.  In the summer months the fur is about an inch long but in winter it can grow as long as three inches.  The winter coat is a light color and turns more reddish-yellow in the summer.  The “spots” on the Amur Leopard are different from other leopard subspecies.  They are more widely spaced with thick borders. They can weigh from 70 to 105 pounds. Their long legs allow them to leap across the ground without touching it as far as 19 feet and straight up in the air to 10 feet. Habitat: Spans the temperate, broad leaf forests and cold winters of the Russian Far East, China and, in the past, Korea. Their name comes from part of their habitat. There is a remote part of the China-Russia border called the Amur River valley. Range: Habitat destruction and over-hunting have reduced the range to about 2,000 square miles in far eastern Russia. Eighty percent of its territory has disappeared in just 13 years. Diet: Carnivorous: meat. They will eat any meat they can catch but they are fond of deer, wild boar and hare. Life Span: 10 – 15 years in the wild, up to 20 years in human care. Family Life: Most live alone rather than in families but a few males have been documented to stay with females to help rear the cubs.  Litter size is 1 to 4 cubs that...