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Animals At Franklin Park Zoo Take On The Bitter Cold Weather

By Ken Tucci, WBZ-TV Producer
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BOSTON (CBS) – As we suffer through another cold snap, we can always put on an extra sweater or turn up the heat.

But what about the animals at the zoo? At Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo, where the zebras and giraffes usually roam, there’s just an empty field. The giraffes have all been moved indoors, including the newest addition, a 2-month-old baby.

This bitter cold is just too much for them.

“It kind of taxes your body trying to keep up that energy level when you’re dealing with the cold, so we have that in mind with all our animals,” says Pearl Yusuf, an assistant curator at the zoo.

While the giraffes will spend the winter indoors, other animals like the zebras can figure it out on their own.

“The zebras are very cold-hardy animals. If they have a place where they can go in and out, they can decide when it’s too cold for them, and they will,” says Yusuf.

The black swans are fine outside in their pond, where circulating water keeps it from freezing, and the camels adapt.

“When cold weather comes, they build up an undercoat that’s so extremely insulating,” says Yusuf.

Heat coils keep water buckets frost-free and animals can always go into heated barns.

But the best winter home is definitely the Tropical Forest exhibit.

“The tropical forest is the lucky area. They’re hot year round,” says Yusuf.

The animals there spend ever season in simulated tropical heat. It’s a great place to visit if you’re chilled to the bone, guaranteed to thaw you out and give you a great look at some fascinating creatures.

The Franklin Park Zoo is open year round, and on days when the temps are not sub-zero, most of the animals are out and easy to see.

On Saturday, they’re celebrating the lunar new year at the zoo with activities and entertainment. Some of that happens in the Tropical Forest where it’s always balmy.

Online: Franklin Park Zoo

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