Video: Animals at Fota enjoy Storm Emma's snowfall

Video: Animals at Fota enjoy Storm Emma's snowfall
Images, taken in Fota Wildlife Park by Lead Ranger Kelly Lambe, of Dourga, one of the Sumatran Tigers in the wildlife park with a snowman.

Staff at Fota Wildlife Park worked around the clock over the last week to ensure all animals are safe and have enough food to sustain them during Storm Emma.

Park director Sean McKeown said a plan was put in place with most animals kept inside during the blizzard conditions.

The lions and tigers received a bumper meal so they won’t go hungry during the worst of the weather.

The Flamingos at Fota Wildlife Park ahead of Storm Emma last week.
The Flamingos at Fota Wildlife Park ahead of Storm Emma last week.

“All the animals have been fed and will be kept in. Most of the free-range animals have huts around the place for the winter,” he said.

“We took precautions with the lions and tigers who were kept indoors.

“Food stocks are in and we have lots of meat in our freezers.

Staff were at the park throughout the storm and most of the animals received enough feed for 36 hours during the worst of the weather last week.

“With the lions and tigers, they got a big feed. Sometimes they get a big feed that does them for a day or two and other days they will be consecutively smaller amounts to mimic how things work in the wild. It’s good for their system that they sometimes eat a lot and other times, not so much so they function almost as in the wild.

Fota Wildlife Park was also closed for a number of days during Storm Ophelia in October with a number of trees falling leading to a big clean-up operation. However, all animals were kept safe during the storm.

Mr McKeown said staff are well prepared to care for the animals in severe weather events but the most concern surrounds damage to the park itself.

Images, taken in Fota Wildlife Park by Lead Ranger Kelly Lambe, of Dourga, one of the Sumatran Tigers in the wildlife park with a snowman.
Images, taken in Fota Wildlife Park by Lead Ranger Kelly Lambe, of Dourga, one of the Sumatran Tigers in the wildlife park with a snowman.

It was a similar situation in Dublin Zoo last week.

They implemented their cold weather contingency plan where animals had continuous access to their heated houses. 

In some cases, Dublin Zoo installed additional heaters to ensure animals that are used to warmer climates, such as giraffes and zebras, were protected during the cold weather. 

Those accustomed to colder climates, like wolves and snow leopards had the option to be outside. 

In preparation for the weather warning, the zoo said they had all boilers serviced and surplus food for the animals has been delivered.

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