CLEVELAND -Although it’s getting colder and snowier, many animals living at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are plenty accustomed to the chilly weather.
“What people don’t realize is that Cleveland is a great climate for animals whether they’re from the northern or southern hemisphere,” said Mike Murray, who is an associate curator of animals.
Some days are just too cold, so that’s why the lions, tigers and cheetahs can come and go into their enclosures as they please. They can also lounge on heated rocks as well.
“A lot of the animals like lions and cheetahs have in-out access they can use on cold days, and the lions have heated rocks they can go onto,” said Murray.
One common misconception Murray said many animal lovers don’t know is that some of these animals are used to cold temperatures.
Cheetahs, lions and elephants have areas in Africa that can get below freezing and even see snow while they’re living in the wild, sometimes with temperatures dropping below freezing.
So even some cold days here are okay for them to be outside.
If the sun is out, 30 degrees is even warm enough for them to be outside for awhile throughout the day.
Murray said one of the best areas in the zoo is Northern Trek, featuring tigers, camels and reindeer, who are especially adaptable to snow.
The Mexican grey wolves are adapted to this as well, spending a majority of their days outside while viewers can observe them from inside a heated area.