Peoria Zoo, Wild Life Prairie Park working hard to keep animals warm this winter

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Now that we are in the middle of winter, the Peoria Zoo has some animals that are thrilled that temperatures have dropped.

“The tiger doesn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. She likes to be out roaming around in her enclosure all the time,” said Peoria Zoo Curator of Animals Melissa Moore.

There are other animals, like the reptiles, that are either sticking to indoor viewing facilities or are temporarily taken off their exhibits for the season.

“We have to be careful of the giraffes, for example, who are not adjusted to very cold temperatures, and we don’t want them to slip on ice or snow for example, and hurt themselves,” said Moore.

This means that they also insulate or turn up the heat in the indoor animal facilities to keep their tropical and desert animals warmer.

Wildlife Prairie Park has many animals that are more familiar with brisk winters.

“All of our animals at wildlife prairie park are native to Illinois. So, they live here now or used to live historically in Illinois. So many of our animals actually enjoy the winter when they have those thick fur coats,” said Wildlife Prairie Park Lead Animal Keeper Calli Dicks.

Despite most of their animals being native to Illinois, some of their animals still need protection from winter weather.

“Luckily, our reptile center Forest Hall where we have our reptiles, amphibians, we have a skunk in there and also bunnies, it is heated. So, we are keeping that the same temperature as it would be in the summer,” said Dicks.

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