Where would we be without eternal optimist Beardsley Bart? Celebrating the zoo’s 100th anniversary year, the prairie dog sage jolted us this morning with an air of optimism.
From the zoo:
Who needs Punxsutawney Phil when you have ‘Beardsley Bart?’ Beardsley Bart, Connecticut’s own Prognosticating Prairie Dog, dug out from the weekend’s snow at sunrise this morning to share his weather forecast with a small gathering of his friends. This year, he did not see his shadow, revealing that Connecticut will enjoy an early spring.
“Beardsley Bart is a very early riser and when he came out this morning, he confirmed that he did not see his shadow,” explained Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “But every year, Beardsley Bart says that spring is coming eventually, and he has always been 100 percent correct.”
Dancho invites everyone to visit the Zoo throughout the cold weather, as that’s when many of the animals are most active. Animals who enjoy cold temperatures include the Amur leopards, Amur tiger, North American river otters, and Mexican grey and red wolves.
About Prairie Dogs
One of the most popular habitats at Connecticut Beardsley’s Zoo is the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog habitat. These delightful rodents roam around their habitat freely and dig tunnels and burrows just as they would in the wild. Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs dig burrows with tunnels leading to chambers for denning, storage and nesting. The entrance holes are funnel-shaped and lead down steep tunnels 15 or 16 feet before leveling off for another 20 to 50 feet. They are primarily crepuscular, meaning they are active at dusk and dawn during warmer months. Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs spend most hot summer days sleeping and are active above ground in the morning and evening. In cool or overcast weather, Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs may remain above ground all day. They emerge shortly after sunrise and return to the burrow around sunset. Rain will often drive them to retreat underground.