Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, is home to two Mexican gray wolves, and two Red wolves, all extremely rare and on the Endangered Species list. The two Mexican gray wolves at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo are sisters, born in 2007 at the California Wolf Center in Julian, Calif. Both species at one time were completely extinct in the wild.
The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo,” is the most genetically distinct lineage of gray wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid 1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998, a new chapter in the Mexican wolf’s history began, with a homecoming that changed the landscape. There are 300-400 Mexican wolves in zoos today, but only about 40-50 in the wild.
All wolves are social creatures with an intricate system of communication and social structure. In the wild, a typical pack of five or six animals might consist of an adult pair and their offspring, with a territory encompassing up to several hundred square miles. Hunting behavior and strategies vary with terrain. In areas where wolves and livestock co-exist, such as Minnesota, Montana, and Alberta, Canada, wolves take an average of less than one tenth of one percent (.1%) of available livestock.
Wolves have been hunted down throughout the world, but pockets of wolves still exist in Spain, France, Italy, and Finland, as well as remote corners of the Middle East and on the Russian and Mongolian steppe. Wolves can live 14-15 years in human care.
About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Spend the day a world away! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 95th anniversary this year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won’t want to miss the Pampas Plains exhibit featuring Giant anteaters, our Red panda, or see family favorites Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelot, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include the South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $15.00, children (ages 3 -11) is $12, senior admission (62 and older) is just $11.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members also are admitted free. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is located at 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut and parking at the zoo is free of charge. For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.com.