PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Zoo is open this weekend — despite the region’s deep freeze — and there are a lot of hands on deck to ensure safety for the animals, staff and visitors.
Of course the polar bears, penguins and snow leopards are use to the cold, but the lions and cheetahs? They were even outdoors, thanks to heating elements incorporated into the exhibits.
“The big male lion was out happy as a clam today,” says Kim Lengel, Vice President for Conservation and Education at the zoo. “He has an area in his exhibit that is like a little cave almost. It’s just a little sheltered area that actually has in-floor heating”.
Lengel says most of the birds of prey have heated perches to rest on.
“It provides just enough warmth,” she says. “And, of course, if you think about, a bird, the only part of its body that is not covered with feathers is typically its feet, and so heat gets conducted up through those bare feet.”
She says the primates, however, are kept indoors and given extra hay to keep warm.
Pathways have been cleared on the grounds of snow and ice for visitors, staff and for deliveries.