Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd gathered for the official opening of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo new Andean Bear Habitat today. Zoo Director Gregg Dancho welcomed a large gathering of Zoo guests along with Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, in one of two covered viewing areas. Andean bear Cayambe wandered through the habitat and at one point came right up to the viewing window, to the delight of the guests.
The new habitat welcomes back a species that was last part of the Zoo’s animal family in 2011. This large and beautiful habitat for the arboreal (tree-climbing) bears features trees, two rock caves, a swimming pond and a hammock. Native to the Andes and outlying mountain ranges, the bears’ conservation status is listed as vulnerable, with a decreasing population in the wild. They are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program.