Binder Park Zoo's staff work hard to keep animals safe and sound during subzero temperatures
BATTLE CREEK, MI The animals at Binder Park Zoo may be dealing with winter this year better than some of the staff members,
collections curator Brett Linsley said.
"A couple more clothes, a little moremore wholesale Steelers cheap jerseys
shoveling, other than that it is business as usual," Linsley said of the zoo's winter operations. "The animals are probably handling it better than I am."
A handful of the nearly 6 animals residing at Binder Park Zoo thrive in harsh winter weather, but the majority of the zoo animals have spent the winter months this year indoors.
the animals at Binder Park stay here in the winter, said Linsley adding that it would be dangerous to
transport many of the animals seasonally. are trying to keep these
guys as comfortable as possible. Barnett, director of wildlife, conservation and education at Binder Park, said the zoo houses animals, such as snow leopards, red pandas, peacocks, wolves, horses and bald eagles who can tolerate harsh winter temperatures. However, the majority of the zoo animals including all of the primates, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and many others are confined to heated buildings until it warms up.
like a ghost town here during the winter, said Barnett, who has worked at the zoo for the last 28 years. can remember it being cold but I don remember it being this cold for this long with this much snow.
During a typical winter there are breaks in the cold every so often that allow the zoozoo cheap Steelers jerseys
staff to let the animals outside for some sunshine and fresh air. This year that opportunity has been infrequent. Most of the zoo's animals require temperatures to reach the high 40s before they can go outside, Barnett said.
According to data from the National Weather Service out of Grand Rapids, the average temperature in Battle Creek in January 2014 was 16.3 degrees, 7.3 degrees colder than the average of previous years. The last time the temperature in Battle Creek exceeded freezing this winter was on Jan. 20, when the temperature reached 34 degrees.
is the longest the animals have been locked down, Barnett said. it gets up to 32 degrees we are going to let the some of the primates out, which we wouldn't usually do. animals who livelive free shipping cheap Steelers jerseys
in Binder Park Zoo Wild Africa exhibit during the warmerwarmer Steelers jerseys cheap
months are housed in a building the size football field with radiantradiant cheap Steelers jerseys
floors where the temperature averages around 70 degrees. The building is known as 'The Savannah Barn.'
"One of the important things for keepers to do in the winter time is enrichment," Linsley said. "We want to keep their minds active and elicit natural behaviors."
Linsley said during the winter season the staff will hide the animals' food in puzzles that require the animals to work a little harder for it.
During the winter the staff also has time to work on physical procedures and operant conditioning with the animals. These exercises help train the animals to be comfortable with animal care, Linsley said.
"It decreases the stress for the animals a lot of the time when they have to do these activities," Linsley said.
On top of these winter activities, Binder Park Zoo's staff also have to look ahead to opening day on April 22 and will soon begin to get ready for guests.
"There is quite a bit to do and on top of that it's an (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) inspection year," Linsley said. "We are accredited and we pride ourselves on that and when that time comes around we really want to make a statement and show off a little bit."