Brr! How are the animals in Hainan coping with the cold?

By Cai Rong / hiHainan / Updated: 2021-01-12,19:30

Several days of chilly weather is making locals wrap up their warmest coats and huddle for warmth under thick blankets. So how are the animals coping? Staff from the Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden are paying close attention to the animals in the Park and adjusting their care to help those not used to such cold weather stay warm and healthy. 

In the giraffe pavilion and along the pavilion wall, there are heaters running day and night. The ground inside is covered with a thick layer of straw, which looks warm and comfy.

Are "cold-blooded animals" afraid of cold weather? The answer is “Yes”! To keep them warm, Park staff have prepared heat preservation devices and supplies to protect the reptiles, including snakes, turtles and lizards, from getting too cold. The African Spurred Tortoises are spending time in an incubator. An electric heat lamp stays on day and night to keep the temperature at a steady 28 degrees Celsius, keeping the room warm while also preventing any burns.

African spurred tortoises keep warm under a heat lamp. (Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden)

After the temperature dropped, the boas became listless and coiled themselves up in their cave. There, they bask under the warm lights, cozy and satisfied. Squirrel monkeys, parrots, flamingos, and other animals that are not used to the cold also have heat lamps to keep them comfortable. In the viewing areas for herbivores such as elk, slope deer, and sika deer, cages are lined with thick straw to prevent the animals from getting arthritis.


Boas bask under warm lights. (Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden)

At night, when the temperature is lower, the staff do their best to bring the animals into their cages. They use different heat preservation devices and offer them some high-calorie foods rich in fat, protein, and starch. But not all of the animals fear the cold. Temperature changes have little impact on pandas, tigers, alpacas, and many of the other animals who reside at the Wildlife Park. "The Park’s resident pandas, Gong Gong and Shun Shun, stay warm by eating," said Su Changyuan, marketing manager at the Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden.

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