It's that time of the year again!

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It's that time of the year again!


As the holidays draw near and family and friends travel to be with one another, you might ask yourself, “What happens to the animals at Blank Park Zoo?”  The animals at Blank Park Zoo are taken care of 365 days of the year. They require food, water, exhibit cleanings, and attention from the keepers that know them best. While the animals may not know it is a special time of the year, they do receive special treats around the holiday season. The tigers dug into presents with their favorite food inside, as the tortoises enjoyed a tree of lettuce during our Santa at the Zoo event this past weekend.

Although not every animal at Blank Park Zoo enjoys the snow, many of the animals are still out on exhibit during the winter season. The animals handle seasonal changes in their own way, which is why it is so important for keepers to understand behavioral changes in the animals, as well as how they adapt to the weather.

Carnivore and Primate Area Supervisor, Bonnie Van Ellen, had quite a bit to share about these winter creatures…




Pictured above is a Japanese macaque. They are able to survive winter by utilizing hot springs when possible, while their thick coats protect them from the harsh, Iowa weather. Although a door is left open to their indoor holding this time of year, many macaques still prefer to play outside. The youngest of them all, Miya, enjoys eating the snow!

The rocks within the lion exhibit are heated so that they can stay cozy during the cold months. Deuce, who turned three on December 18, loves to run and play in the snow. Snow leopards are most active in the winter months as they use their tail as a scarf to cover their nose when needed. The keepers often notice the snow leopards climbing up in their tree to enjoy the fresh air or watch the seal & sea lion training sessions!

The animals of Blank Park Zoo would love to get a gift from you this holiday season! From listening to music, to grooming themselves, to hunting for treats, the animals have a lot on their holiday lists this year! Visit to check out their lists today, and keep your favorite animals busy this winter! All gifts are 100% tax-deductible.



12/23/2013 9:29 AM |Add a comment
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