“Beardsley Bart,” Connecticut’s Prognosticating Prairie Dog, Makes His Groundhog Day Prediction

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Prairie Dog Forecaster Says Spring is Coming!


No need for Phil from distant lands, Connecticut’s own seer understands. Beardsley Bart, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Prognosticating Prairie Dog shared his weather forecast with a small gathering of his friends early this morning. Attendees included Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim who read the proclamation.

Beardsley Zoom Bart Predicts an early spring
Mayor Ganim shared, “Beardsley Bart has spoken, and spring is coming to Bridgeport!” He emphasized the impact Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has on the community. “Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the only zoo in the state, and we are proud to have such a great resource right here in Bridgeport.”

Zoo Director Gregg Dancho also joined this morning’s festivities and invites everyone back to the Zoo this Spring for a ribbon cutting ceremony.  “Beardsley Bart’s habitat is currently under an exciting renovation where guests will be able to get up close and personal as they pop up with our Prairie Dogs” shared Dancho. “The habitat gives guests a sense of how these animals burrow and pop up to view the world around them.”

The Zoo is open year-round with many animals enjoying the cold temperatures and snow. Animals who enjoy cold temperatures include the Amur leopards,  North American river otters, and Mexican grey and red wolves.

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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.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Your ticket to adventure! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating over 100 years, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur leopards, maned wolves, and Mexican gray wolves and red wolf. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove.  As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participant in its Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, the non-profit Zoo is committed to the preservation of endangered animals and strategies that will protect species and preserve their wild habitats. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org.