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6/24/2013 - 203rd Anniversary - Barnum’s Birthday Bash at the Beardsley Zoo

The Barnum Museum invites everyone to enjoy the 203rd Anniversary - Barnum’s Birthday Bash in celebration of the birthday of P.T. Barnum, famed showman, philanthropist and one of Bridgeport’s best-known citizens. The party will be held on Friday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport. These two dedicated ParkCity institutions will collaborate to celebrate the life and times of former resident, P.T. Barnum.

In addition to the obvious opportunities to see the interesting animals at Connecticut’s only zoo, the carousel will be operating and a portion of all carousel proceeds will go to The Barnum Museum. Author Elinor Biggs, P.T. Barnum’s great, great, great grand daughter will be on hand to sign copies of her new book, The Pig That Could Read, for anyone interested in purchasing a copy that day. Also available for book signing will be Bridgeport author, Michael Bielawa who will bring Bridgeport Baseball and Wicked Bridgeport and also be able to talk with zoo visitors about his brand new Wicked New Haven book being released July 2.

Zoo visitors will also be able to watch the Emmy Award winning production Barnum Lives produced by award winning TV production company, Borres Productions. Director Frank Borres says he’s been a TV news reporter and documentary reporter for decades but this project caught him totally off-guard.  The documentary crew from Borres Productions in was taping a segment for TV about Pa-Ib, the 4,000 year old Egyptian mummy on display at The Barnum Museum, when the museum’s Executive Director, Kathy Maher, made an amazing discovery. Little did the TV team know that they had stumbled on evidence of one last message from Bridgeport’s great circus impresario Phineas Taylor Barnum. Barnum Lives will play continuously in the carousel building and allows viewers to witness the discovery and see a program that contains Barnum’s Last Reel and Testament

Visitors celebrating P.T. Barnum’s birthday will also be able to see Sofiya, an incredibly rare female Amur leopard. Amur leopards are critically endangered, with just 30-40 animals left in the wild and only 176 in captivity worldwide. Born in May, 2008 at the St. Louis Zoo, Sofiya arrived at Connecticut’s only zoo in January of this year. She will take up residence in an area that was designed just for her living needs.  

Other new additions to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo animal family include three rare Mexican wolves, also a critically endangered species. The three wolves, all female and all six years old, recently arrived at the zoo from the CaliforniaWolfCenter.

Another unique family offering will be the chance to ride two kissable camels, Toby and Goliath, between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for $5 person, including photos. The camels will call Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo home through Labor Day.  The zoo also is offering a combo ticket for both a carousel and camel ride for $6.

For more information about Connecticut’s only zoo please visit For more information on P.T. Barnum visit