Jan 31, 2011 7:27 PM by Stephanie Collins

Preparing for the cold at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

When our weather gets cold the extremes are not only tough on us, but our pets and other animals too.

Keepers at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo have been busy making preparations. They've put out hay beds, heated rocks and have moved a lot of the animals indoors.

For the animals that like the cold though, they're actually more fun to watch when the temperatures drop. That includes the grizzly bears, "Our bears are a little slower these days, but they are still out playing in the snow and eating," explains Rebecca Zwicker, keeper of the Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit.

The bears and other animals that like the cold, like the river otters, still have a heat rock in their exhibit. You can always tell which one it is because there's not any snow on it. The otters also get a hay bed to keep them dry when they come out of the water, "In the wild, for an otter to eat, stay warm, keep up energy, is going to be in the water," says Zwicker.

While a swim might not sound nice to us, Zwicker adds that they don't let the water dip below 40 degrees, so on these cold days the water is the warmest place to be. For species that aren't native to a cold climate they stay indoors. The rest of the animals are given the option to go in and out as they please.



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