Zoo Keepers and Animals Weather the Storm

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Niabi Zoo doesn't open to the public until Monday but that doesn't mean workers get to take a snow day.  They've worked all winter long.

Zoo keepers say their work doesn't change throughout the year.  Tending to and caring for the animals is a year round job but the snow makes that more difficult.

Staff works throughout the winter months to make sure the barns are warm and clean, walk ways are shoveled and animals are able to get access to their food and water through the snow.

Staff say many think that the animals are shipped off to warmer places during the winter months but that is not the case.  All of the animals stay on the grounds.

Majority of the animals are able to go in and out of barns at their own leisure.  Zoo director, Marc Heinzman says it is interesting to see which animals choose to play in the snow.

“It’s kind of surprising when you see a lion which is normally in Africa, where there is not even close to snow and they are out laying in it,” Heinzman tells us.

Giraffes, some of the monkeys and reptiles are some of the groups that must stay inside due to safety and health reasons.

So most of the animals get a choice to be in or out of the snow, but the staff at the zoo does not.

The zoo will open its doors Monday, March 11th at 9:30 for their 50th Anniversary season, regardless of the weather.