Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow day at the zoo

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The zoo may be closed today due to “Snowpocalypse,” but many of the animals are still out and about. Some animals retreat indoors or look for a warm spot to tuck themselves into to get out of the snow, while others—like our residents of the Northern Trail exhibit—are in their element.
The first animals you encounter in the Northern Trail are the pack of four sister wolves—Doba, Shila, Aponi and Kaya.
When we first approached the wolves this morning, they were beautiful to behold in their white fur coated in snow, an elk lounging in the background.
But it wasn’t long before one of the wolves interrupted the still, idyllic portrait with a piercing howl.
Then the wolves all began to vocalize together and play.
They chased.
And chased.
Then took a break to nibble at the snow.
We pulled ourselves away from the scene just long enough to see one of our grizzly bears shaking himself free of the snow piling onto his fur.
Then we were off to see the Steller’s sea eagles, whose bright orange beaks seemed so bright and bold against the white backdrop, and the elk who were fairly active.
While there wasn't as much action in other parts of the zoo, there were still a few other beautiful scenes worth sharing, including this emu...
...and these penguins.
We’re keeping an eye on weather conditions and our keepers are making sure all of the animals are warm, safe and comfortable. We hope to be able to open as usual tomorrow, and will post the latest status tomorrow morning to the homepage of www.zoo.org.

Be safe out there, everyone!

Photos: Grizzly bear photo by Kirsten Pisto/WPZ, all other photos by Ryan Hawk/WPZ.

14 comments:

  1. These were great! I loved seeing them today. THANK YOU! for posting them.

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  2. Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing these great pictures.

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  3. Love the wooolves!

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  4. Question.... maybe a stupid one, do the bears at the zoo hibernate?

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  5. Tim -- It's a great question!

    Hibernation is brought on by a combination of the bear's own weight, deteriorating weather, and shortening days. By not allowing the bears to gain an excessive amount of weight during the late summer and fall, they aren't as sleepy through the winter months, although they sleep a good deal more than in summer and their appetites are somewhat down. They still have a dramatic change in weight between spring and fall, but not to the same extent that a wild bear would have, in the northern parts of the species' historic range.

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  6. Wow. I had no idea about bear hibernation. Thank you

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  7. LOVE these pictures, especially the wolves today. THANK YOU!

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  8. Thanks so much for posting these! It's great to see these guys right in their element, so blissfully content. Wish we could be like them and see this winter day through their eyes. Instead of cursing the snow tomorrow, we should howl and chase each other. Nothing that happens after that should ruin you day :-)

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  9. I would love to have visited the zoo in the snow, as I have in years past. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

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  10. Awesome this post! Our animals love the Colorado snow :)

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  11. Beautiful pictures! My favorite pictures are the wolf pictures.

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  12. Loooove the wolves!!!

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