Baby, it’s cold outside

DZG’s animals are staying snug during the cold and frosty nights.

chilly_meerkat_1As temperatures plummet keepers take additional measures to ensure the site’s rare and exotic collection is kept warm.

Temperature gauges are increased in many of the animal houses, with additional heat lamps to keep the heat constant.

And ungulates staff keep a close eye on  the temperature of the giraffe house to ensure Kubwa, Josie and Mia stay cosy as a sudden drop in temperature can affect the Rothschild trio.

Assistant Curator, Richard Brown, said: “We have thermometers inside and out which we constantly watch.

“We keep the house at an optimum temperature of 22 degrees in the winter and around 16 degrees in the summer and if the paddock drops below two degrees we won’t let them outside.

“Although they can cope with cold temperatures, as it normally drops below freezing during the nights in their native Africa, we won’t let them go out if it is frosty or icy.

“For such big animals they are quite delicate creatures and could easily slip over and badly damage ligaments in their legs.”

Time for warm panda cake


Red pandas Yasmin, Yang and Jasper are keeping the chilly weather at bay by tucking into warmed-up treats.

On cold days keepers are using hot water to mix up the trio’s favourite panda cake, which consists of a special mix of oats, crushed insects and leaves.

The warm cake is given to the pandas twice a day, alongside chopped pear, apple and banana and pieces of bamboo.

Senior Keeper Laura Robbins – pictured – said: “The warm food really goes down well at this time of year with all three red pandas and they soon gobble it down.”