Central Florida Zoo prepares for blast of cold weather

Staff at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens is busy working on equipment to protect animals from cold temperatures. 

"Our heat lamps, our heaters, our tarps to put up in certain areas to keep the wind out, making sure our propane heaters are working that the propane tanks are filled up," said Christopher Torge, the director of animal operations. 

He said some animals can take this cold weather, but they worry about others

"Some of our animals like our Aumur Leopard come from a bit of a colder climate, so they do well with these cold snaps, but other animals like our smaller birds, they don’t do well, so we have to worry about things like frostbite," he said. 

The zoo’s superstar – PJ the rhino – will be held in his barn when the temperatures drop to their lowest

"His barn is equipped with two propane heaters that kick on at 65 degrees, and I’m fairly certain tomorrow morning when we come in he will be underneath those heaters laid out on his big fluffy hay bed, and he is not going to want to get up until the sun comes out," said Torge. 

The same goes for the giraffes – staff tells FOX35 they will ride out the cold snap inside.

"They have their propane heaters in there, some fluffy hay beds, and they’ll stay in there until the morning," he said. 

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