Q. What happens when there is a bad storm at the zoo? Do all the animals go indoors?
A. While it’s easy to assume that, like us, animals would seek shelter in bad weather, it’s not always true.
Many of the Zoo’s species have the choice to go outside or inside throughout the day, says Animal Curator Travis Vineyard. Species like the tigers, Amur leopard and elephants even have freedom to venture outside throughout the night. So when rough weather hits, species (and the Zoo’s animal care team) will act different depending on time of year or type of storm, says Vineyard. “Our tigers don’t seem to blink an eye at snow storms or rains,” he says. “But the giraffe are more sensitive and are native to a different climate, so they’ll be inside during cold temperatures or heavy rains.” Temperature rather than precipitation is the most determining factor, with freezing temperatures keeping most of the African and Australian species inside. As far as Asian Highlands animals? “They are from cold, mountainous regions so they tend to stay outside and in fact seem more active in colder months.”