Amid frigid conditions, zoo staff taking special care of warm-weather animals

Diane Nahabedian, the zoo's director of public relations, said they have specific guidelines for each animal and what climates they should be kept in.

"If it's an animal like the red panda, the snow leopard, the moon bear, this is their weather, they would be out in this weather," Nahabedian said. "An animal like a zebra or a giraffe that's common to the continent of Africa, they're not going to be out in this weather."

Nahabedian said animals indigenous to warmer climates are brought inside during the colder weather to keep them warm. She said some animals, like the tree kangaroo, stay inside year-round to ensure their climate is regulated.

"We really pay attention to the temperatures and what is appropriate for each animal," Nahabedian added. "We know animal by animal and the animal care staff has protocols for every single animal."

But it's not just the extreme cold that the zoo worries about. They also have protocols during the extreme heat for animals that have longer fur and are used to cooler weather.

"There are animals that don't do well in the extreme heat," Nahabedian said. "If it was too hot, the red panda, for example, would probably be inside in their air-conditioned home."

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

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As an arctic blast moves through the Northeast, Roger Williams Park Zoo is making sure its animals are comfortable for the rapidly changing weather conditions.