Tanganyika Wildlife Park takes extra precautions to keep animals warm

KSN News.

GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) – The recent cold temperatures have affected Kansans statewide, as well as the animals.

To protect their animals from the chill, Tanganyika Wildlife Park closes for the winter, and takes special precautions indoors.

Many of the park’s animals are from warmer climates so they prefer to be indoors during the winter.

But it takes extra work inside to make sure these animals are healthy during colder months.

Matt Fouts, the assistant director at Tanganyika Wildlife Park, says operations don’t stop when doors close for the winter.

“We give them extra enrichment, and do different things to try and keep them entertained during the winter when they can’t be outside,” said Matt Fouts, assistant director.

Besides extra care, Fouts says on especially cold days they try to limit how often the keepers come in and out of doors.

He says most barns have floor heaters to keep animals warm. But when these heaters aren’t enough, they have back-up heat sources.

“It has to travel 20 some feet to get to the top, that’s a lot of volume, so we do have some extra big heaters in there for when the temperatures dip down to like they were today or last night when they get really cold,” said Fouts.

Fouts says the cold doesn’t bother some animals, like red pandas and snow leopards. Even some species who aren’t familiar with the cold and snow enjoy Kansas winters.

“They will spend a fair amount of time outside, maybe not today specifically but for most of the winter, they don’t mind even the Kangaroos, which come from more of a Saharan or sub Saharan a very dry desert climate, they get a much thicker coat, and they will go outside,” said Fouts.

He says during the winter chill they prepare new exhibits and enhancements to the park. He adds that this upcoming season, people can look forward to new animals and renovations.

The park will re-open this March and there will be a new bird building, some new smaller exhibits, and a new baby sloth that visitors can look forward to.

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