COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s getting warmer and we’re not the only ones happy about it. We spoke to animal keepers over at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo about what it takes to keep the animals warm all winter long.
They have their work cut out for them! Some of the animals really enjoy that snow, but others are just not having it.
Haybeds, plexi box feeders and heated rocks are just a couple items it takes to keep these guys warm.
“The one Emmett is on, that’s heated,” explained Senior Animal Keeper Kristen Cox of one of the rocks inside the bears area. “A lot of times we will see him splayed out on his stomach enjoying that warmth.”
Digger and Emmett are 800 pound bears with a thick coat of fur and layer of fat, so for them the winter is welcome.
“We’ve seen them when its 20 or 30 degrees and they’re swimming,” added Cox.
For the giraffes it doesn’t quite measure up.
“They’ll stay inside if it’s not 40 degrees,” explained Senior Keeper Diana Miller.
Staying warm inside is easy. It’s keeping these guys busy that’s hard.
“They get a little bit spoiled too,” adds Miller.
That’s where snack time comes in.
“It’s plexiglass,” says Miller when describing the giraffes plexi box feeders. “You can see just how active and how cool their tongues are and how hard they have to work in order to get all of their favorite treats.”
When it is warm enough to go outdoors, not all these guys are game.
“They’ll just cause a ‘giraffic jam’ and block the path for the rest of the giraffes,” says Miller. “We’ll see who shifts and goes inside or outside.”
For more info on the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s winter programs visit their website here.