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Keeping zoo and farm animals safe in bitter cold

This bitter cold snap is making extra work for local farmers and zookeepers.
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - This bitter cold snap is making extra work for local farmers and zookeepers.

Animals are uniquely adapted to deal with this chilly weather, But that does not mean they are immune.

That is why, at the NEW Zoo a broken heater Tuesday in the monkey building was nothing to mess around with.

In fact, alarms sound if buildings get too cold.

"We just need to make sure everybody is doing ok. Keep an eye on any elderly animals in particular some of those get brought inside" explains Carmen Murach, Curator of Animals for the NEW Zoo.

Monkeys, otters and snow leopards actually enjoy the frosty weather.

However, there are some animals you will never catch outside in the Wisconsin winter.

"Our penguins are African penguins so they do not do cold very well at all" she says.

Horses on the other hand do not mind the cold, especially if you give them a heavy blanket.

"People need to understand that the horses are meant to be outside. To keep them in is not what they are used to or what horses are meant to do" says Kim Kuehne, The Owner of Scarboro Creek Equestrian Center.

However, the indoor riding arena at the facility is heated to a balmy 50 degrees.

It gives trainers a place to safely give lessons and get horses some much needed exercise away from the chilly winter air.

"Horse do not move around quite as much, spend a little more time under the shelter" Kuehne explains.

At both facilities water buckets are heated all winter long.

In extreme cold horses get all the hay they can eat. The zoo also beefs up the menu.

"A little extra nutrition to get them through this cold spell . When it is really cold, you burn more calories" says Murach.

Local 5 also talked with dairy farmers. They tell us cows would much rather have this bitter cold, than steaming hot summer temperatures.

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