Caring for our animal friends in cold weather

By Andrew Freiden - bio | email
Slideshow images by Matt Boyce

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Cold winter weather keeps most people indoors, but not our friends in the animal kingdom. Most can handle the chill just fine.

But some of Maymont's residents need a bit of extra care this time of year.

The cold weather means fewer visitors at Maymont this time of year, but there is still plenty to see. Since most of the animals are native to Virginia, they can handle the cold.

"We don't really have to do that much for them except maybe provide a wind break for a few of them," said Buz Bireline of Maymont. "They do great out there in Virginia, so they do great here too."

Bireline says they're just not as active. Those famous Maymont bears are still out there ready to be seen -- they don't hibernate but they do slow down.

"They may not be as playful as they are during the spring time," Bireline said. "They may just sit around a little bit more lethargic but they are plenty warm."

The flying squirrels stay warm too -- in a different way. They look to friends and family for help.

"Fourteen or 15 of them will all snuggle together in a cavity and hang out for warmth. They normally don't hang out that way," he said.

There is some extra work to be done when it gets cold.

"For a few animals we give them heaters, and some animals like reptiles we'll take inside all the time," he said.

The pot bellied pigs hate cold weather so these little piggies stay home. They are kept warm by extra straw and a heat lamp on chilly nights.

You can still visit them, but they'll be hanging out inside.

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