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Maned Wolf Habitat At Beardsley Zoo Honors Julia Wasserman



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BRIDGEPORT — Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo celebrated the first birthday of three rare maned wolf pups (Chrysocyon brachyurus) with a special “Maned Event” for the wolf family and guests on December 27. The first birthday for Goncarlo, Guapa, and Sabana was marked with cake and hot cider for all the zoo guests, while the animal care staff provided birthday “pupcakes” made from vegetables for the threatened species.

In remembrance of the late Julia Wasserman’s long-term service to the Zoo’s Board of Directors, and in gratitude for a generous bequest, Zoo Director Gregg Dancho announced the naming of the Julia Wasserman Maned Wolf Experience.

Mrs Wasserman served on the board for many years, provided financial support during her lifetime, and worked as an advocate for the zoo with the state legislature. A former Connecticut lawmaker, she was an elected official from Newtown, Conn. An initial $20,000 bequest in her will was supplemented by an additional $50,000, a discretionary distribution from the estate.

“Julia always loved our wolves here at the zoo,” said Mr Dancho. “There are people among us who use their time, talent, and fortune to better the world around them. Julia Wasserman was one of those people. Over many years, she served the zoo as a steward, an advocate, and a supporter. One of the ways we can best honor those who contribute to our mission of animal conservation, research, education, and recreation is to share their name with others, so that their gift and the spirit in which they made it is always remembered,” said Mr Dancho.

Board Member Barbara Miller accepted the honor on Mrs Wasserman’s behalf and said, “Julia loved animals and especially loved the zoo, so this is a wonderful tribute to her concern for animal welfare.”

Mrs Wasserman was an active supporter of the Pampas Plains habitat when it was first envisioned, and then created, several years ago. She particularly was fond of the maned wolves. The birth of three pups last December would have made her happy, noted Mr Dancho.

The Beardsley Zoo is grateful to its many members, supporters, and corporate partners who help to educate, delight, and bring animal welfare and conservation to the state of Connecticut.

About Maned Wolves

The birth of three critically-endangered maned wolf pups (Chrysocyon brachyurus) took place on December 27, 2017, at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, a first time for this species at the zoo and for the state of Connecticut. The development of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) has enabled the breeding of maned wolves in human care. The goals of the SSP are to maintain a viable, self-serving population in North America, enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals, and promote conservation of this species through education and field conservation initiatives.

Three endangered maned wolf pups celebrated their first birthdays on December 27 at the zoo.
The maned wolf habitat at Beardsley Zoo has been named for Newtown’s late State Representative Julia Wasserman, a longtime supporter of the Beardsley Zoo whose estate has recently distributed $50,000 to the zoo, adding to an earlier bequest of $20,000. —photos courtesy Beardsley Zoo
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