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What happens inside of zoos and wildlife parks during snowy weather?

PUBLISHED: 15:25 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:25 28 February 2018

An Amur leopard cub enjoys to snow at Thrigby Hall. Picture: Courtesy of Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

An Amur leopard cub enjoys to snow at Thrigby Hall. Picture: Courtesy of Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

Courtesy of Thrigby Wildlife Gardens

While the Beast from the East may have closed our region’s zoos and wildlife parks to the public, it was business as usual for their keepers and - of course - the animals.

Keepers at Pensthorpe Natural Park clearing snow from the bird enclosure roof. Picture: Courtesy of Pensthorpe Natural ParkKeepers at Pensthorpe Natural Park clearing snow from the bird enclosure roof. Picture: Courtesy of Pensthorpe Natural Park

While some of the furry, feathered and scaly residents cope better than others, very little changed for the way they were cared for by the dedicated members of staff who look after them.

With animals still in need of their regular care, keepers trudged through the snowy conditions to make sure they received everything they needed.

At Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, near Great Yarmouth, the only noticeable difference in the daily routine was the amount of fuel taken to keep those in need of a more tropical climate warm.

Scott Bird, zoo director at Thrigby, said: “We just go through the same day to day things we have to give the animals what they need.
“We do notice in these extreme conditions our oil usage does go up. Our crocodiles, alligators and snakes for example need their rooms to be nice and warm so we have to work harder to heat them.

“Our primate species are quite similar to us humans so like to keep warm, but the snow leopards have really been in their element. Even the Amur leopard cubs seem to be enjoying it.”

“We have also been fortunate the snow hasn’t laid on the top of the netting over our aviaries.”

The was no such luck at Pensthorpe National Park near Fakenham, though, where keepers were required to use large brooms to clear the snow from the roof of bird enclosures.

However a spokesman said keepers were still able to ensure the birds had plenty of feed during the cold snap.

At the Sea Life Centre in Yarmouth, extra shelters were erected for one group of residents - the penguins.

While many breeds are used to the snow, the Humboldt penguins at the centre are more accustomed to the warmer climates of South America.

Therefore, an additional shelter was erected in their enclosure, to allow them to seek warmth as they huddled up together.

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