Grab your sleeping bag, the warmest coat you can find and your thickest boots - you're spending the night at the Zoo!
One might dare to dream of this reality, but to the knowing zookeeper - it is not the anticipation of fluff, warmth and cuddles.
In preparation for what some locals have coined the "Texas Blizzard of 2021", Fort Worth Zoo staff and animal keepers strategized how they would continue routine animal care despite a statewide, "snowed-in" shutdown. For many, this looked like packing their bags and spending their nights at the Zoo - which has "snow" days off! Barns must be cleaned, stocked and restocked with hay, warming lights must be placed, and unfortunately, snow makes elephant dung only visibly disappear. Water temperatures must be regulated, grounds must be tended to, animals must be fed and their conditions must be monitored. Our zookeepers and staff have been onsite every single day throughout this winter storm taking care of the animals and Zoo grounds. Zookeepers and vets are watching over the collection of nearly 7,000. Nutrition staff is here prepping and delivering diets. Security is onsite 24/7 (as always). The operations team is clearing pathways and removing accumulated snow from overhead tarps and tents. Zoo engineers monitoring power and plumbing. Zoo employees coming in to drop off blankets, towels and soap for the others who are spending nights here onsite.
We are so very thankful for this team of hardworking, dedicated individuals.