• Jacksonville Zoo works to keep manatees, tigers, giraffes warm

    By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax


    The Jacksonville Zoo was closed Wednesday, but zookeepers were still there making sure the animals stayed warm.

    “It’s nasty out here,” deputy zoo director Dan Maloney said. “Most of the animals have shelter. They can go inside. For those – like some of the birds – that don’t have that kind of shelter, we’ll give them heat lamps.”

    The tiger cubs many have been watching live online are snuggling together indoors.

    “They get to stay in a nice, warm, cozy building that’s bedded down and we think that’s probably the best for them today,” said Maloney.

    Steam rises off the manatees’ tank at the zoo’s Manatee Critical Care Center.

    Their water is heated to about 78 degrees.

    “Cold is the biggest issue for them, cold stress,” said Maloney.

    Rain drummed on the roof of the giraffe barn, where moms and calves stayed dry and cozy next to their heaters.

    The zoo plans to reopen to the public on Thursday.

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