Drusillas’ critters shrug off the cold

The meerkats kept warm under the heat lamp

The meerkats kept warm under the heat lamp

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AS BAROMETERS plunged to sub zero temperatures at the weekend and the snow started to fall, the animals at Drusillas Park, were proving it takes more than a sprinkling of the white stuff to get them feeling blue.

The zoo team were keeping a close eye on each of the residents to ensure they were al-white, supplying extra bedding and turning up the heating within many of the enclosures. However, the vast majority of the park’s 1,000 residents appeared largely unfazed by the arrival of the sudden cold snap.

Demonstrating the simples way to keeping warm, the industrious meerkats took no time in huddling up under their heat lamp. With one meerkat keeping look out on top, a couple draped over the cover and the remaining meerkats cuddled up underneath.

Far from getting in a flap, the penguins also seemed unaffected by the sudden drop in climate. They have a thick covering of fat below the skin, as well as layers of feathers which trap warm air within. It was therefore business as usual at the penguin pool, with the group splashing around.

Likewise, the zoo’s North American beavers paddled around their pond and spent time foraging in the flurry, before returning to the comfort of their lodge.

But it was a different story at the prairie dogs. During the winter months this species go into a state of semi-hibernation, slowly becoming less active as the temperature falls.

Although they do get up for meals, the majority of their day is spent sleeping, living off the fat reserves built up in their bodies.

Only one solitary prairie dog was brave enough to poke his head out of the burrow, before quickly deciding against venturing out.