Chehaw Zookeepers work to keep animals warm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chehaw Zookeepers work to keep animals warm

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Ben Roberts, Manager of Animal Programs Ben Roberts, Manager of Animal Programs
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Zoo Keepers at Chehaw Park remain at work even though the park was closed for the second day in a row making sure their animals are kept warm during these freezing temperatures.

Freezing temperatures in South Georgia leave an empty parking lot at Chehaw Park for the second day in a row. Zookeepers say the closing is based on what's available to the public.

"Like today the temperature is not expected to rise far above freezing. Most everything is going to be off exhibit and given access to their barns," said Ben Roberts.  

Roberts can't even remember the last time the park closed due to freezing temperatures.  

"Not in least the last seven years, I don't ever remember closing because it's cold," said Roberts.    

Roberts says just because the park is closed doesn't mean that zookeepers get a day off from work.  

"We still go in we still feed all the animals, we still have to make all the diets, we still have to clean all the cages," said Roberts.  

More than 200 animals live and play at Chehaw Park. Roberts says the animals are given extra food and heating lamps to withstand the cold temperatures. Tuesday, Zookeepers were busy making sure water lines at the park weren't frozen.  

"Making sure that most of the guys are carrying lighters and things like that today to make sure they can get the locks open because water condenses and it can get in there and freezes up a lock," said Roberts.  

Roberts says housing for different animals depends on their needs. He says a Kangaroo's body temperature fluctuates so freezing temperatures like today don't bother them.  

"So with weather like this they just kind of do their thing. They slow down a little bit but it just doesn't bother them," said Roberts.  

Roberts says it's the overheating of animals that he's worried about.  

"I worry a lot more about losing stuff in the summer when they can't cool down and they end up with heat stroke just like a person does," said Roberts.  

Roberts says the animals deal with cold weather much better than humans do. Park Officials say the park will be open to the public Wednesday on their regular schedule at 9:00 a.m.

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