Animals at Chehaw Park monitored during cold temps - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Chehaw animals monitored during cold temps

By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  South Georgia remains in the icy grip of an arctic cold front. You certainly don't want to be outside at night but some animals don't have a choice. Workers at Chehaw Park at making sure the zoo animals are safe during this frigid weather.

It's cold enough to see the breath from bison at Chehaw Park. Don't worry about them though. They actually like it.

"They do fine," said Chehaw Curator Jan Thompson.

Others like zebras look for the warm spots in the sun and stick there. Walking her way through the cold park to check on them all is park curator Jan Thompson. "They're holding up pretty well," said Thompson.

First up is the lemurs. "A lot of them are a lot more tolerant of the cold than you would expect," said Thompson.

The lemur exhibit and many others have special accommodations for cold nights and mornings. "Some of them are a lot more sensitive to the cold and those that are, they have heated buildings or heated shelters of some sort," said Thompson.

The next stop on the cold checklist--the monkeys. "On a cold day like this, if you come by, you may or may not see the monkeys out," said Thompson.

It wasn't too cold yet for the primates on our visit. They were busy chomping away on leaves, but they also have a warm spot to escape to when it gets too cold. "We're going to really watch what they're predicting for tomorrow night with some of these animals and see if we have to take any additional measures other than what we're doing right now," said Thompson.

One measure was already taken on the rhinos Wednesday morning. "On very cold mornings like this, we may hold them in longer than we would otherwise and let the temperatures rise a bit before we let them out on exhibit," said Thompson.

The flamingos are doing okay so far but that may change if the weather gets worse. Jan will continue do her daily checks. "We just keep a good eye on everybody to make sure we're meeting their needs," said Thompson.

While we were there it seemed the pigs had the best idea though. They got very close in the cold.

The meerkats are popular new additions to Chehaw's Wild Animal Park. They were kept in their inside enclosure Wednesday because they're just not used to this kind of cold weather.

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