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Lehigh Valley Zoo keeping close eye on animals during frigid weather

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 28 2014 04:17:02 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 29 2014 06:07:22 AM CST

Humans are not the only ones putting up with the bitterly cold weather.

NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

Humans aren't the only ones putting up with the bitterly cold weather.

69 News stopped by the Lehigh Valley Zoo on Tuesday to see how the animals are holding up. Some were taking shelter inside while others didn't seem to mind being outside.

The penguin pavilion was empty because the penguins were inside staying warm.

"You don't expect penguins not to like cold. Everybody thinks they are from the Antarctic, and there's about four species of penguins that are truly from the Antarctic," said Rich Rosevear, general curator, noting that the Lehigh Valley Zoo's penguins are from South Africa.

"If it's below 30, our penguins are inside to keep them warm. If it's above 32, we'll give the access. We'll open the door and they can decide what they want to do," said Rosevear.

"We have four kangaroos, a male, a young Joey and two females right now. They're in their shelter. They do have some heat provided for them as well as straw," he added.

Rosevear said the kangaroos don't mind the snow, though, and are often outside.

There are some animals that have to be inside during the cold weather.

"Our lorikeets, our crowned cranes, cockatoos, we bring them in in weather, in cold weather. Of course any reptiles like tortoises and crocodilians," Rosevear said. "Tortoises and crocodilians are ectothermic, cold-blooded, and whatever temperature they're in, that's the temperature they are."

There are plenty of animals outside.

"Other types of animals, like our ostriches and zebras, you tend to think of them as equatorial African animals, however, in the wild they live, a lot of them live in or close to desert areas where it freezes every night," said Rosevear. "A lot of our North American species, ones that live in this area, like our gray fox, fisher, ravens, our other birds of prey, they're fine out in this weather." 

"Since we don’t have a lot of indoor holding for our animals, the majority actually are out all year long," Rosevear added. "It's actually those few birds that come from warmer climates and the reptiles that we actually have to take in for the winter."