Lehigh Valley

Animals adjust to cold temperatures at Lehigh Valley Zoo

NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - There's no denying winter is now upon us, and that means zookeepers at the Lehigh Valley Zoo are busy making adjustments to many of the habitats.

"The keepers have to take extra time to care for all the animals," said Samantha Wegman, general curator of animal care for the zoo in North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.

Many of the animals get extra bedding, heaters installed in their habitats and adjustments to their diets to help them gain fat.

Still, some exhibits like the penguins are empty right now. The penguins hail from South Africa so they are moved indoors for the winter. 

"The animals that are staying inside, like our giraffe and our penguins, they give them extra things to do to make sure while they are inside they get plenty of stimulation and are moving around appropriately," Wegman said.

Meanwhile, other animals who are out and about come as a surprise to some zoo goers.

"The otters especially love to slide in the snow and the ice and they still swim in that freezing cold water but they are used to it," she said.

Zoo officials say the wintertime is actually a great time to come out to see the animals. You don't have to battle crowds and the adult price of admission is reduced.

"A lot of them are outside. A good 75 percent of them can be seen year-round," Wegman said.

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