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Dublin Zoo animals unphased by Ireland’s cold snap, continuing to enjoy the outdoors and exercise

Dublin Amy
Dublin Zoo animals unphased by Ireland's cold snap

As Ireland continues to experience cold weather, Dublin Zoo has assured the public that their animals are doing just fine. According to the zoo’s director, Dr. Christoph Schwitzer, the animals are resilient to the cold and some even come from cold countries like red pandas.

While the zoo does have a heated house for the animals, not all of them use it. “For the tropical animals, such as giraffes, that do not grow winter fur, staff must make sure they are not outside for too long,” said Dr. Schwitzer. To ensure the animals’ comfort, they are provided with extra bedding and straw, and may need more food to keep warm. However, the most important thing is providing them with access to warm indoor habitats.

Despite the cold, Dr. Schwitzer emphasized the importance of allowing the animals to have outside access. “It’s good for them to have outside access, as that is what they are used to and they need exercise during the day both for their mental and physical health,” he said. This is also true for the birds at the zoo, which are resilient to the cold temperatures. Flamingos, in particular, tend to stand in water, so the zoo must take care to prevent the water from freezing over.

Lakes freezing over is also a concern, so the zoo makes sure to keep the animals inside overnight when possible. In the morning, they check the outside drinkers to make sure their water isn’t frozen. Despite the challenges, Dr. Schwitzer assured the public that the animals are adaptable and used to Ireland’s climate. In fact, some of them may even find the snow exciting.

While the cold weather has resulted in increased energy costs for the zoo, Dr. Schwitzer assured the public that the zoo will not compromise on animal welfare. “All animals will get the temperatures they require,” he said. Dublin Zoo is dedicated to providing the best possible care for their animals, no matter the weather.

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