The weekend’s heavy snowfall brought with it love-hate moments for DZG’s 1,600-strong exotic animal species.
While the likes of our red pandas, Humboldt penguins, Patagonian sealions and snowy owls were in their element outside in the wintry weather and our reindeer were literally jumping for joy…
The majority of our species including the Asiatic lions, Sumatran tigers, Bornean orangutans, chimpanzees, meerkats, anteater and Madagascan lemurs, preferred to spend their snow days enjoying enrichment activities inside their heated and insulated dens.
Although Luna, our Brazilian tapir juvenile, couldn ‘t resist a quick gambol around the South American paddock as she experienced her first ever snow!
DZG Press Officer, Rachel Hickman, said: “Despite the weather and the closure of the zoo to visitors on Friday, yesterday and today, it’s still business as usual for our dedicated keeping staff and gardening team who battled through the snowdrifts to make sure our animals still received the best possible care.
“Our curators keep a close eye on the weather forecasts so we were well prepared for the last few days and had stocked up on dry feed, straw and hay, which keepers had to manually haul around the hilly site due to limited vehicle access, which is when sledges came in very useful!”
Wintry weather duties include keeping enclosure roofs and food troughs free of snow, as well as making sure pools and water bowls are free of ice.
Watch as our spider monkey off-show enclosure is kept safe from the heavy snow…
Staff also make up food and drinks with warm water and keep a close eye on temperature gauges inside the insulated animal houses, with additional heating brought in if needed.
Rachel added: “This weekend also provided great opportunities for our staff to snap some fantastic wintry photos and videos of our animals in the snow, which we hope you enjoy viewing.”