Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will soon say goodbye to its two Canada Lynx kittens, Ruby and Penny, as they will move in the next several weeks to their permanent home at the Buffalo Zoo. Born on April 26, 2017, the six-month-old kittens 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.
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 need for more of the species to protect future populations.