Furry Friday: why a winter time walk at the zoo is a good idea


The change of seasons can make some people change their plans.

But that doesn’t mean you have to change all your plans.

For example, a trip to the zoo might seem like a Summer or Spring activity.

But for some of the animals, they actually prefer the cold weather, so the exhibits are more active this time of year.

“You can find otters in North Dakota so they’re used to our summer weather as well,” Lead North Trail keeper at the Roosevelt Park Zoo, Chelsea Lee said.

She said some river otters have been spotted near Burlington.

And while they are used to the summer, they’re a little bit lazier during those months than what they are now.

“The winter is much better to see them, they’re much more active, especially around noon time because that’s usually when they get fed,” Lee said.

They aren’t the only ones in favor of this weather.

Just over the bridge at the big cat exhibit, very few winter accommodations have to be made for these felines.

Zookeper Becky Zahn Walcker said, “The snow leopards can definitely handle our cold temperatures. If its 20 below or it’s snowing or windy the snow leopards will just be sitting there pretty comfortable.”

For the most part, they don’t mind the cold.

But if they do, a cozy straw bed is a simple fix.

“Just like we would on our couch at home, want a blanket to cuddle up with, we give them a straw bed so they have a choice to lay on it or sometimes they choose to lay on the snow,” Walcker explained.

The lions, tigers, and leopards have the option to go inside if they need the heat.

But Walcker said their winter coats keep them warm and ready to brace the cold.

So if you put on your winter coat, you can enjoy this time of year just as much as the animals do.

“It just gives us something to do, definitely getting out of the house. We get cabin fever so having the little one be able to run around and touch the snow and feel the difference in weather, you know?,” zoo goer Marlene Hoover said.

Winter hours at the Roosevelt Park Zoo are Monday through Saturday, 10AM to 3PM.

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