The Connecticut Beardsley Zoo is a tiny zoo with a lot to do and it is the only zoo in Connecticut. The zoo is also open all year long so you can visit animals in warm or cold months and see how they live in different climates. Young children especially will be thrilled with the zoo as we saw that on our recent visit. Lots of squeals and giggles could be heard throughout the zoo. But, that doesn’t mean children of any age or even adults won’t like it. We had a ball and saw animals we had never seen before.
The zoo is in the heart of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and it is easy to get to, right off the Merritt Parkway. We had no problem finding it. When you drive up to the zoo they have ample parking and the area is clean and landscaped. Right inside the front gate there is a regular restroom area, good thing, because I hate porta potties.
Once inside the gate, we were immediately greeted by one of the many peacocks that roam freely. During your visit you will hear the peacocks calling each other across the zoo. They are also Guinea Fowl that run around the zoo chasing each other and laying eggs in the bushes. This just adds to the adventure.
There was a special exhibit of Giant Galapagos Tortoises inside the fence by the Historic Greenhouse. One of these turtles was 90 years old and both weigh over 400 pounds. We found out that they live to be around 100 years old. They were on loan from the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas.
At the Beardsley Zoo we also saw two Amur (Siberian) tigers, wolves, monkeys, swans, pigs, a cow, Raven, frogs, turtles, alligators and crocodiles, Eagles, hawk, owls, snakes, Andean condor, deer, Lama, Pronghorns (like deer), Bison, Prairie dogs, Ocelot (cat), lynx, rheas, and even more we didn’t list or take pictures of.
The Grey Timber wolves we saw were in a large enclosed area where they were roaming around. We had a great view them from the inside of the building that had glass windows all around.
The Rain Forest building is a must see. It is quite stinky inside but it is because of the type of Rainforest reptiles, animals, and creatures that live there.
This blue Poison Drat frog was exquisite and there was a whole tank of them. They were either blue or green and they looked like they were plastic because their skin was so shiny.
We saw a Keel Billed Toucan, a variety of monkeys, Scarlet Ibis, and ducks in the Rain Forest building. Scarlet Ibis high in the trees inside of the Rainforest building.
This is a Pale-faced Saki Monkey. When they shook, you could see these monkeys had long hair.
These Golden-lion Tamarins were so small. There was a pair of them. Everytime we saw monkeys they were in pairs.
The Beardsley Zoo also has a farmyard exhibit. This is where we saw a pair of Barn owls snoozing peacefully on their perch.
The Prairie Dogs are quite comical, jumping in and out of their holes. There was a huge colony of them. The zoo has tunnels underneath so kids can go underground and pop up through plastic-covered holes to see the Prairie dogs first-hand.
Bison and deer could be found munching on grass. And swans, ducks, ostrich, cow, goats, gray foxes, and even a regular ole domestic cat were seen at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
We were at the zoo at just the right time to see the Alligators being fed. They were eating raw meat and jumping out of the water to make sure they each got a piece. The handlers would stomp on the deck to let them know it was feeding time. There were turtles in the pond with them but we found out that they were safe from being eaten because the alligators are always well fed.
The zoo features a pair of Bald Eagles. We found out that they were both males and would love to have a female mate to keep them company. They were rescued and don’t fly anymore.
If you are looking for some lunch, they have just the place for you – the Peacock Cafe. They call it that because the Peacocks are always hanging around the building, pecking at something. The food is reasonably priced (a cheeseburger was $3.50) and it is kid friendly. I even had a cotton candy ice cream cup from Hersheys – yes, I’m a big kid.
We found that all of the animals and creatures were well taken care of. Some people have a hard time seeing animals caged up but we also learned that animals often have a better life expectancy rate in captivity because they are well taken care and fed, and don’t have the risk of predators like they do in the wild. The next time you munch down on a hamburger, remember that you are eating an animal and these animals in the zoo have a much better life than that.
A lot of the animals in the Beardsley Zoo are also rescued animals who have been hurt and the zoo takes them in and cares for them.
The Beardsley Zoo is not only the only zoo in Connecticut, it is well worth the trip. There is so much to see and do. They have special events, lectures, and even have a carousel. Take a day trip to Bridgeport with your kids and enjoy the Beardsley Zoo. Visit the zoo’s website for ticket prices and specials.