Wintry weather causes Lufkin zoo to remain closed

(Photo: KTRE)
(Photo: KTRE)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With frigid temperatures, it's not just people who are choosing to stay inside, but also the animals. The wintry weather caused the Lufkin zoo to remain closed as staffers made adjustments to keep animals safe.

"If it's cold for you, it's cold for the animals," said Celia Falzone, general curator for Ellen Trout Zoo.

Many people and animals are adapting to the chilly cold air.

"We have implemented a number of things to make sure animals are going to be ok," Falzone said.

This includes bringing giraffes, rhinos, tortoises and many more to the indoors.

"Some animals have wind- breaks, some have hay beds, they have heat lamps," Falzone said. "Depending on what the animals needs are and what help they need to stay warm and comfortable, that's what they've got."

Numerous large animals can endure the low temperatures Falzone explains.

"They can tolerate quite a bit, but they're so big, it takes a long time to lose their body heat," Falzone said. "You know they're going to get cold a lot later than you would. You're going to get cold faster. But once they lose that body heat it's harder to get it back and warm up their body again. So we want to be sure they stay warm"

But on the flip side not all animals are going indoors, some choosing the outdoors.

"They've got the feather insulation (referring to peacocks) and it's really thick, so they fluff up their feathers and when they do that what they are doing is trapping air between all those feathers and their body heat is warming up those air spaces which then keep them warm," Falzone said.

Zoo staffers placed double the heat lamps to wind breaks this time around in habitats to ensure animals stay cozy.

"It would ok if it was around 32 (degrees), but when it's going to be 15 or 17 (degrees). That's too cold," Falzone said.

Zoo officials said the zoo will remain closed as long as these freezing conditions continue.

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