Mayor Jon Mitchell joined the jubilant staff and members of the Buttonwood Park Zoo Society today in celebrating the unexpected arrival of three baby beavers to New Bedford’s Buttonwood Park Zoo.
Mayor Mitchell was enthusiastic about the turn of events, “There’s a long list of terrific reasons to make the Buttonwood Park Zoo a regular destination for your family. The chance to see our beaver babies up close is just one more!”
The Zoo’s veterinary and keeper staff examined and weighed each kit hours after their birth. All are healthy and weighed in at 453g, 514g, and 554g.
Their mother, Acorn, was born at the Pittsburgh Zoo and arrived at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in 2008. Their father, Butternut, left the Zoo a few months ago to be part of a breeding program in Nebraska. The three young beavers are currently visible on exhibit with their mother and aunt.
Zookeeper Shelley Avila-Martins said, “All kits are now swimming and diving very well. Mom keeps taking them out of the water to put them back in the lodge but our kits are determined to keep going back into the water. They’re getting more independent each day and are now able to swim and return to land by themselves.”
A contest to Name the Kits will run from August 16, 2012 until September 3, 2012 at 5:00pm. The public will have a chance to vote on their choice of nine names pre-selected by the zoo keepers. Zoo members will have the first chance to vote as the contest will kick off during the Zoo’s annual Members’ Night celebration. Starting August 17th, the public may vote for their favorite name online or in person at the Zoo. Anyone who casts a vote for one of the winning names will be entered into a random prize drawing. At the conclusion of the naming contest, the Zoo will release the kits’ names to the public.
“The American Zoo and Aquarium Association has called New Bedford’s Buttonwood Park Zoo “one of the finest small zoos in the United States.” The zoo is home to nearly 150 species of animals, ranging from tiny frogs to enormous elephants. Buttonwood Park Zoo was established in 1894 and is the 12th oldest zoo in the United States.