Zoo animals adapt to Southern New England climate - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Zoo animals adapt to Southern New England climate

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A white tail deer at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford. A white tail deer at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.

The managers of two Southern New England zoos said Thursday that the animals are good at adapting to the region's climate.

Some animals take cover to stay warm, while others feel right at home in the cold weather.

"We have such an incredible variety of animals. We have animals from the tropics and we have animals from the colder regions of the world as well," said Dr. Jeremy Goodman, executive director of the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence.

Goodman said every species' needs are specific based on the temperature.

"Our entire staff is really up to it, making sure that the water bottles and water tubs aren't frozen, pipes don't freeze, making sure that all our heating systems are working properly," Goodman said.

The cold weather is also affecting the animals at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.

"We mostly deal with native species. We have a lot of species that are found in North America or that are found in the eastern part of Massachusetts," said Keith Lovett, zoo director.

Animals like white tail deer, bulls and bison.

The elephant exhibit, however, is empty. Ruth is being kept inside after suffering frostbite during the year's first snowstorm.

"We're very happy with her recovery. Everything seems to be going its course, and we're very thrilled at how she's doing right now," Lovett said.

The elephants at Roger Williams Park Zoo are comfortable inside, joining the giraffes in waiting for the return of warm weather.

"If it's a gradual change in weather, they can adapt a little easier. Sometimes those sudden changes where it just plummets 30 degrees overnight is the bigger challenge," Goodman said.

Both zoos remain open throughout the winter.

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