MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When we get cold, we throw on a sweater or bundle up under a blanket. But what do the animals at a zoo do?
CBS4 Photojournalist Rafael Murciano visited Zoo Miami on Wednesday to see how the animals cope with the cold.
Turns out, the primates were no different than us.
“We give blankets to many of our primates that they use. They wrap themselves around it, helps keep them warm, especially when the wind starts blowing,” explained Ron Magill, the zoo’s communication director. “But they know the warmest they can get, the quickest they can get, is to get out in the sun.”
However, the Galapagos tortoises need more than a simple throw blanket. The zoo built them a heated enclosure. The pad has coils to heat up the floor as well as heat lamps to send targeted warmth.
“The tortoises are locked in here during the evening, during the coldest hours,” explained Magill. “As soon as the sun came out, then what we do is we let them back out. Their choice is to get back out in the sun because there really is no better heating element than the sun.”
Finally, the birds of the zoo are given supplemental heat. The holdings allow the birds to seek heat lamps or bask in the natural sun.
“Certain tropical birds are not used to this type of cold, and we do have to give them that extra heat element,” Magill said.