Here's how the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo keeps animals warm in freezing temperatures

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - When temperatures drop to dangerous levels, it's not just domesticated animals that need protection.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, is making adjustments for their animals.

"The Cleveland zoo is open 365 days a year," said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Animal Curator, Travis Vineyard.

But what happens to the animals when we take the inevitable dive into freezing temperatures?

"We get a lot of questions, especially in the winter about what we do with all the animals in the cold," said Vineyard.

Vineyard said the answer is simple. It all depends on the type of animal.

A good example would be the African Lions.

"You would think, they're from Africa. They should love the hot. But you know what? They really appreciate the cold at times too," said Vineyard.

While the Lions may look somewhat cold, there's more that meets the eye when it comes to their habitat.

"You'll see a cave. There's no snow and ice in it and there's actually radiant floor heating in there," said Vineyard.

Zoo officials will do any and everything in their power to accommodate these animals in freezing temperatures.

But what about bigger animals who may have less fur like an Elephant for example?

"Over at African Elephant crossing, there's actually overhead radiant heat that warms the animal's backs," said Vineyard.

The heat is always on in this indoor part of the exhibit. But zoo officials ultimately say the choice is up the animal. It's something they call In - Out Access.

"That is allowing animals into and out of their inside spaces at will. It's there choice on what they want to do. Do they want to be outside walking in the snow? Or do they want to be inside where it's warmer?" said Vineyard.

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