LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – While many people complain about winter weather and
holiday pounds zoo keepers have their work cut out for them keeping African
animals cozy in cold weather and trying to tip scales by having them gain 100
pounds in just a few short months.
At the Louisville Zoo the staff has a
long to-do list including making sure the water temperature is right for all
the aquatic animals.
there are the food chores, "Making sure the food doesn't freeze for
certain animals," Assistant Mammal Curator, Jane Anne Franklin said. "We
range from using about 100 pounds if fish a day, to the high point in the
winter, we'll be using about 150 pounds of fish a day."
The zoo spends $400,000 on food each year and had to budget for winter.
The animals tend to burn more calories in the winter and they are happy to
pack on a few extra pounds.
The animals also have different
thresholds for temperatures they can withstand so on a day like Monday with a
high of 31 the barns were left open for the lions and elephants so they could
decide if they wanted to brace the cold or not.
The giraffes had to stay inside
because it was just too chilly for them.
Still that didn't stop animal lovers
from bundling up and coming out to see the animals.