As temperatures plummet and snow flurries sweep across the country, the animals at Drusillas Park have been staying warm with a little help from their two-legged keeper friends.
Zoo Keepers have been working in over-drive to make sure all of their animals have extra bedding and somewhere warm to snuggle up. They’ve also cranked up the heating and ensured heat lamps remain on throughout the day and night.
Zoo Animal Manager, Mark Kenward, said: “We had a little dusting of snow this morning; it was lovely to see Drusillas with some snow dotted around! Most of our animals were totally unfazed by the snow, quite a few of them shot straight out to investigate.”
“Our red pandas Mulan and Maja, love this kind of weather. They thrive in the cold; in the wild red pandas are native to the forest regions of China and Nepal where the climate remains cool throughout the year. They are far better equipped for the cold than the heat due to the thick layer of fur that covers their bodies.”
Drusillas’ penguins have been out playing in the snow flurries; even going as far as to brave a dip in their pool! Snowy Owls, Zapper and Zephyr are also in their element. In the wild, these stunning birds inhabit the chilly skies above the Arctic, where temperatures are incredibly low and snow is common. In order stay warm in these conditions, they have dense plumage, as well as feathers covering their feet and beak to keep them nice and toasty.
Zoo Animal Manager, Mark Kenward, continued: “Our meerkats are not quite so impressed by the snow. They prefer much sunnier climes and would swap sunbathing for snow any day of the week! They did pop out and have a quick look, before making the wise decision to hurry back inside to the warm.”
Joining the meerkats in their dislike of the cold is Drusillas’ Serval, Ninja. In order to keep her healthy during the winter, she has recently been given her annual flu jab. Just like domestic cats, Servals need to be protected against viruses that cause a runny nose, sore eyes and a sore throat. Flu bugs are easily spread between cats due to coughing and sneezing, just as with humans.
One two-legged species that excelled in the snow this morning was the humans! Drusillas’ dedicated zoo keepers have been working their socks off, despite the snow, to ensure all their animals remain clean, warm and well fed.