Calgary Zoo animals thrive in, or hide from, cold weather
Tropical animals hunker down, while some of the heartier beasts comes to life in winter
The gorillas hate it.
The tigers love it.
And some species of penguin go walking in it.
What it is: the freezing cold weather.
"For some of the animals, this is actually not a problem," said Calgary Zoo curator Malu Celli of Calgary's latest cold snap. "So if you're a muskox, if you're a caribou, Amur tiger, or a red panda or snow leopard, this is perfect weather for them.
"Some of our animals, the more tropical ones, they're definitely not happy, so they're staying inside."
Celli said the zoo tries to do things to make life a little better for those beasts who hide from the cold.
"A little like we indulge around Christmas time, we can give them a diet with higher fat content or more calories, because we know that they're trying to keep warm," she said.
There are also straw beds to keep animals comfortable and dry.
Celli said there are guidelines for when staff can and cannot let animals outside, citing strict guidelines around the zoo's lions when it comes to temperatures.
Good time to visit
Celli said it's a good time for humans to bundle up and visit the zoo, with many animals in the Eurasian and Canadian Wilds section out enjoying the weather. There are also fewer visitors.
"Some animals can actually be more playful. If it's too hot they would actually be quiet, not have a lot of energy, and sleep a lot and just want to stay inside where it's nice and cool," she said.
Starting on Saturday, the cold-loving King Penguins will start their daily walks through the zoo grounds, but check the schedule as the march is still weather dependent.
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Calgary's 'secret' Reader Rock Garden considered for historic designation
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Whole Foods Market cancels Alberta openings as Canadian expansion plan slows
With files from Andrew Brown