The Houston Zoo has activated cold weather preparations in animal areas and around the Zoo in preparation for the freezing weather conditions and closed early today at 1:00 p.m. and remains closed Tuesday, Jan. 16. Every animal has a care team dedicated to knowing what preparations each species needs to ensure they are comfortable during cold weather conditions and all animal buildings at Houston Zoo are built to withstand extreme weather.
Over the years, the Zoo has taken steps to improve animal areas to protect them against hazardous weather. For cold weather, protective covers are added to aviaries, and heaters are turned on to help keep birds warm. Other areas like the orangutan moat have heaters to control the temperature of the water to keep endangered turtles safe. Other animals susceptible to cold weather include primates, cats, and hoofed animals like giraffes and rhinoceros. They will be kept in their barns or night houses and given extra hay or bedding to help insulate against the cold.
Vulnerable plants are covered to avoid freezing and generators are out in place should the Zoo lose power at any time during the weather event.