BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Ruby and Penny, we hardly knew ye!
After hosting a June reveal of two Canada Lynx kittens born at Beardsley Zoo this April, the zoo announced the furry pair will be packing their bags and moving to the Buffalo Zoo in the next few weeks.
The six-month-old girls are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, which is designed to help ensure the survival of selected species, most of which are threatened or endangered in the wild.
“As sad as we are to say goodbye to Ruby and Penny, the kittens will be leaving us sometime this fall—as soon as their new home is ready,” said Don Goff, the zoo’s deputy director. “The planned transfer of animals to other member zoos ensures the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population.”
The Zoo announced the birth of the kittens on Endangered Species Day to emphasize the critical role of today’s accredited zoos in conservation programs. There is an SSP program in place for each family of animals through oversight by a group called the Taxon Advisory Group (TAG).
The Felid (or Cat Family) Taxon Advisory Group makes breeding recommendations for big cats in zoos across the country, based on genetics, age and health of animals and the need for more of the species to protect future populations.
“Wildlife conservation is one of our most pressing environmental concerns,” Goff said. “The lynx, like other forest hunters, plays an important role as a carnivore. In the wild, they hunt smaller prey species that reproduce quickly, making their presence as a predator important to forest ecology. Our breeding program supports their continued existence in healthy habitats.
"We invite you to come see the kittens before they go.”
The zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is discounted for the season until March 1.
For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.com.
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