How Do Zoo Animals Handle Quebec's Icy Winters? This Viral TikTok Has The Answer

Quite a few Quebecers were curious!

Staff Writer
A pair of meerkats peer out from their winter shelter. Right: A zookeeper speaks to the camera.

A pair of meerkats peer out from their winter shelter. Right: A zookeeper speaks to the camera.

For a snow leopard or a polar bear, weathering the winter is a no-brainer: they're fit for their environment, and their environment is chilly AF. But when a zoo brings warm-weather creatures to an icebox like Quebec, what happens when the warm summers fade into frigid winters?

It's a great question, and one curious Quebecer conveniently asked the Zoo de Granby the very same thing. A zookeeper gave a reassuring answer in a TikTok that has now garnered plenty of views.

The Zoo de Granby, located just an hour outside of Montreal, hosts a variety of animals that don't love the snow, from African wildebeest to the cute little meerkats featured in the background of the zoo's popular video. To avoid them freezing their tails off, keepers turn to a number of tactics.

@zoodegranbyofficiel

Réponse à @Animal lover ✨🤍 #neige #hiver #animaux #quebectiktok #zoodegranby

First, the keeper says the Zoo de Granby goes out of its way to feature animals that are used to the freezing cold. But for the rest of them, "like African animals," the keeper says, "they have [secondary] indoor habitats" that allow the zoo to provide a warm home for these heat-loving creatures even through the mid-January snows.

For animals that are cold-tolerant but don't love the unadulterated, frigid experience of a Quebec winter, the zoo provides special enrichment tools like heated stones. These allow the animals to "enjoy the winter in comfort" despite the weather, the keeper explained.

Thanks to these adaptations, the zoo is able to welcome visitors even in the coldest months of the year to see animals that typically live in extremely warm, dry and/or green conditions.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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