Ellen Trout Zoo explains cold weather protocols with animals - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Ellen Trout Zoo explains cold weather protocols with animals

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Animals used to the high temperatures in Africa may be what come to mind when you think of zoo animals affected by the cold. But Ellen Trout Zoo vet Dr. Mike Nance said you also have to think about the size of different animals.

"They're inside their barn all night, they can hold that body heat on into the day," Nance said. "It's our little bitty guys that can lose that body heat pretty quickly. And, so we'll move those guys inside."

The giraffes were still being held in their barn and were sharing the space, for the first time, with the giant tortoises.

"We also have areas where we can lock animals in for a short amount of time, so it's a small heated area with heat lamps and heating pads," Nance said.

A constant flow of water, kept at a temperature in the low 70's, is said to help those animals kept in small ponds. 

"Every fall, we do an assessment of our winter preparedness and whether the heaters that we have and the other items, making sure that everything works," said zoo director Gordon Henley. "And that we have made all the adequate preparation so that our animals do not suffer."

This assessment also provides for the function of multiple generators in place at each indoor area. 

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