Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo kicks off centennial with live shows, time capsule

BRIDGEPORT — The Beardsley Zoo is turning 100 and it’s celebrating the best way it knows how — starting with animals and later on, some cake.

A live animal program will kick off the zoo’s daylong centennial celebration on Saturday. The zoo will start its birthday bash beginning at 10 am until 3 pm Zoo Director Gregg Dancho will issue a proclamation and attendees can check out the zoo’s animals, a time capsule being planted, register for a contest and more.

“I am most excited about being able to share this most exciting milestone for the zoo with our guests. My joy is seeing our younger visitors enjoy a zoo birthday celebration,” Dancho said.

One of the live animal shows will have what the zoo calls “animal ambassadors” including owls, hawks and rabbits. All of the animals featured can be handled safely by a visitor.

People can also enter a contest for a chance to win a free birthday party at the zoo.

Visitors can also check out the zoo as it plants a time capsule set to be opened in 2072, 50 years into the future. Students from the North Stratfield Elementary School in Fairfield will leave letters. The zoo will also bury a calendar, photos of animals and proclamations from city and state officials. An annual report from the 1970s will also be buried along with a zoo picture book.

Zoo spokesperson Lisa Clair said it settled on 2072 because the anniversary in that year also falls on a Sat., June 25. But there’s another reason.

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