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Winter for Binghamton Zoo Animals

The Ross Park Zoo has closed for the winter season, but inside there's still plenty of activity going on.

“Our whole staff is here year round. The staff keepers come out every single day and take care of every single animal, just as we would in the summer months,” said Nancy Kitchen, curator of the Ross Park Zoo.

Kitchen says that some of the animals are actually more active now than any other time of the year.

“Of about 70 mammals here at the zoo, I’d say about 35 are nice candidates to stay out in the winter and enjoy the snow,” said Kitchen.

While we need coats to stay warm in frigid temperatures, some of the animals have their coats built right in. This includes the snow leopard.

“His coat is nice and thick. And it stays pretty thick throughout the year, but in the summer months he does lose a little bit. And then it just grows right back in when the temperatures start to go down,” said Kitchen.

Some animals that are more familiar with tropical climates stay in the Tropics Building. With a temperature of 80 degrees in the building, Kitchen says they have no idea there's even snow on the ground.

“We’re able to use the sunlight and the normal outside temperatures to help us heat this building," said Kitchen.

Additional heat lamps help to keep animals like the zoo's porcupines warm.

The zoo will reopen in April. In the meantime, animals can enjoy a few more months of the winter season.