Central Florida Zoo animals get extra care during freezing temperatures

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PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
You're not the only one feeling the frigid winds slapping your face – animals at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens also get the chills, which means they get extra care during the cold snap.

Zoo spokesperson Stephannie Kettle says outdoor, non-native reptiles – including the crocodile monitor, Grand Cayman rock iguanas, Aldabra tortoise and African spurred tortoise – are moved indoors to heated enclosures.

On extremely cold days, some of the zoo's experiences, like the Venom! show and giraffe feedings, are canceled. The two-toed sloth's exhibit is also canceled while the animal stays warm behind the scenes. Also, the splash pad does not operate when it's below 60 degrees.



All of the zoo's animals are provided with warm shelters and extra bedding to stay cozy. Kettle says the rhino usually gets extra hay, while the sloth gets extra blankets. Some of the animals, like the mammals and birds, are fed more to give them the energy to keep warm, while cold-blooded reptiles are fed less. Kettle says the animals may not always be visible to visitors during these times because they may be inside their shelters avoiding the cold.