RICHMOND (WRIC) - The frigid temperatures mean it is definitely not business as usual at the Metro Richmond Zoo.
It's like a ghost town on the grounds of the Metro Richmond Zoo. Most animal exhibits are empty, now that temperatures are the lowest they've been in years.
"This is a little bit extreme so we took a few added measures to protect them," says Director Jim Andelin.
Measures like heat lamps for the giraffes to huddle underneath, hot air blowing through the monkey house at top speed and doors to outdoor enclosures locked.
Andelin says most species have to stay inside because this weather is dangerous. Just like in humans, it doesn't take long for frostbite to set in.
Only 200 of the zoo's 2,000 animals are outside. The ones that are have to adapt to any icy habitat.
The moat around the Siamangs exhibit is frozen over. Swans hunker down, ducks ice skate where they'd normally swim. The Chilean flamingos' pond looks more like an iceberg.
Most containers for drinking water are heated so they don't freeze, but bundled up workers have to take care of the rest.
"We have to break the ice and put fresh water in a couple times a day."
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