Darıca Zoo residents organized for winter

Darıca Zoo residents organized for winter

KOCAELİ - Anadolu Agency
Darıca Zoo residents organized for winter

Chimpanzees, who live in and outside of their shelters in the Darıca Zoo and Botanic Park, are given blankets in cold nights and they know how to use them. AA photo

Tropical climate animals, living in the Darıca Faruk Yalçın Zoo and Botanic Park in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, have been taken to shelters with heaters as the weather has become cold.

The marketing director of the zoo, Gökmen Aydın, said the specially-designed shelters had electricity and natural gas heaters. “We get nearly 20 degrees Celsius in the shelters for giraffes thanks to these heaters. Giraffes may become sick or die when the temperature falls below a certain level,” he said.

Aydın said the zoo had three tropical areas and added, “These are the aquarium, reptile house and dwarf monkeys. These areas are heated every season. Some have summer gardens, but they mostly live in winter shelters at a certain temperature. There are big windows there and visitors can see them closely. The animals that like cold weather can stay outside.” Aydın noted that the bears in the zoo could enter the closed areas but they did not hibernate. “They can be fed every season. Since they are fed within a certain program, they don’t store enough fat to spend the winter. Brown bears’ hair grows during the midseason. Lots of animals, who like cold weather, store fat for winter months. They become ready for winter in December,” he said.

Cost of heaters

Aydın said the heaters were costly. “We use heaters on an area of one hectare for more than 200 species of animals. It is too expensive and each month we pay 50,000 Turkish Liras’ bill for electricity and 45,000 liras for natural gas. The number of visitors falls in winter and it becomes difficult. Animals eat nearly 500 kilos fruit and vegetables a day and five tons of meat monthly.”

He also added that chimpanzees were given blankets in cold nights and they knew how to use them. “We have an infant monkey and it becomes very happy when we give a blanket,” he said.