Moncton zoo starting to make plans to keep animals warm
Published Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:00PM ADT
The impending change of seasons means changes at Magnetic Hill zoo.
With the animals about to experience much colder temperatures, staff are preparing to keep them warm.
The zoo’s primates -- originally from some of the world's warmest regions -- will soon feel the chill of the Canadian seasons changing.
Once the temperatures drop you won't see them outside much.
“If it's above 15 C, we lock them out for the public to see, but when it gets below 15 C, they're allowed in and out,” said Melanie Prince, the zoo’s head keeperof African animals. “So, that way, if they're too cold and they want to warm up, they can go inside, but if they want to come and play outside they can still come and play outside.”
When temperatures drop below zero, they're brought inside for the winter in enclosures.
The squirrel monkeys are not fans of the cold weather.
“They're a South American primate, so they don't really enjoy the cold too much,” Prince said. “They're small, so they lose their body heat fairly fast.”
If the squirrel monkeys are left in the cold for too long, their small bodies have a higher risk of frostbite. They'll be brought inside to the primate center for the winter.
Flamingos that thrive off of hot weather have really been at home with the warm temperatures we've had this summer, but come fall, they'll have to be taken inside for the rest of the winter, along with all of the other birds at the zoo, as a safety measure.
This week, zookeepers put a plan in place for these tortoises. Reptiles at the zoo require extra care when it comes to the cold.
“They have a heat lamp in their shelter and we have flaps that we will put down if it's going to be 10 degrees, 12 degrees,” said zookeeper Tiffany Bateman. “And, if it gets any colder than that, and it's going to be going on for more than a day or two, we would be moving them into our eco-dome where it's temperature-controlled and it's very warm in there for them.”
The zoo’s pigs will stack the hay around themselves to keep warm in their shelter for as long as they can, but they will soon be moving into their new home – a barn.
Zoo staff say there's no telling when or what Mother Nature has in store, so, it's imperative they have a plan in place to keep their furry friends safe from the elements.
After Halloween is when zoo staff plan to sit down and evaluate what degree of temperatures are safe, and unsafe, for animals to be outside. They'll then adjust their zoo tours accordingly.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.