Community Access

Community Access

Community Access


CT's “Beardsley Bart" & "Chuckles" Predict EARLY SPRING

Photo: Shannon Calvert

Chuckles and Beardsley Bart, Connecticut’s answer to Punxsutawney Phil, made their own Groundhog Day predictions on Thursday morning.

The Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester opened its doors at 6 a.m. so children could meet the Groundhog.Chuckles predicted an early spring. CLICK HERE to get to the Lutz Museum video of the prediction!

Content provided by CT;s Beardsley Zoo

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


Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Prairie Dog 

Forecaster Says Spring is Coming 



BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – February 2, 2023 - Who needs Punxsutawney Phil when you have ‘Beardsley Bart?’ Beardsley Bart, Connecticut’s own Prognosticating Prairie Dog shared his weather forecast with a small gathering of his friends early this morning. This year, he did not see his shadow, revealing that Connecticut will enjoy an early spring.


“Beardsley Bart is a very early riser and when he came out this morning, he confirmed that he did not see his shadow,” explained Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “But every year, Beardsley Bart says that spring is coming eventually, and he has always been 100 percent correct.”


Dancho invites everyone to visit the Zoo throughout the cold weather, as that’s when many of the animals are most active. Animals who enjoy cold temperatures include the Amur leopards, Amur tiger, 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

Let Your Curiosity Run Wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 101st year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tiger and 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

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