Some Chicago animals enjoy the frigid weather - Fox 2 News Headlines

Some Chicago animals enjoy the frigid weather

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Anana the polar bear (Lincoln Park Zoo) Anana the polar bear (Lincoln Park Zoo)
Ron the bison at the Brookfield Zoo (Photo courtesy of the Brookfield Zoo) Ron the bison at the Brookfield Zoo (Photo courtesy of the Brookfield Zoo)
Aussie enjoying the snow at Brookfield Zoo (Photo courtesy of the Brookfield Zoo) Aussie enjoying the snow at Brookfield Zoo (Photo courtesy of the Brookfield Zoo)
CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

While bitter temperatures hammering Chicago were too cold from some polar bears at the Lincoln Park Zoo, animals at Brookfield Zoo enjoyed the frigid temperatures.

The bison at Brookfield Zoo are just like the ones at Yellowstone National Park, and just like at Yellowstone, when the wind chills hit minus forty in a blizzard, Brookfield's bison stay outside.

"The bison are well equipped because for eons they've had to deal with this kind of weather. They have this really thick fur that they grow every year. It's a multi-layered trade that's got down, it's got coarse hair that helps shed water and rain, and so this kind of weather is just ideal for them," Brookfield Zoo's Senior Vice-President Bill Zeigler

Mexican Gray Wolves also reside outdoors, regardless of how cold it gets.

The wolves' paws have additional fur and circulation which keeps them from freezing. They also have a heavy coat of coarse hair over an inner layer that works like a down lining.

"The wolves do quite well. In fact, they really, in the wintertime they the ones that eat all the animals that aren't as fit as they should be and don't usually make it," Zeigler explained.

Over at the Lincoln Park Zoo, officials said its bear Anana was kept inside Monday because of the record-low temperatures.

Zoo spokeswoman Sharon Dewar says while the below-zero weather might be comparable to what a polar bear experiences in the wild, Anana doesn't have a thick fat layer bears typically get from eating things such as seals and whale carcasses.

That extra insulation would make it uncomfortable to live in Chicago during the rest of the year, so Anana gets a different diet.

While she stayed inside, Anana lounged in her comparatively balmy indoor climate that's kept at 40 to 50 degrees.

Anana usually has access to both an indoor and outdoor area. She's venturing outside again on Tuesday.

Most of the animals, like the polar bear at Lincoln Park Zoo, are not equipped to handle the cold. The giraffes, for example, are moved inside when the temperatures dip below about forty five degrees.

Keeping them outdoors would increase their chances of getting sick, and if it's case of the chills, the bigger the animal, the longer it takes them to get well.

"We have a lot of exotic hoof stock from Africa and Asia and of course they can't take this kind of cold, so they're in heated barns," Zeigler said.

Brookfield Zoo's polar bears Aussie and Anana rolled around in the snow and enjoyed the frigid air on Monday despite the zoo being closed, but went inside on Tuesday.

Maybe they've just outsmarted the Bison, or followed the lead of the Lincoln Park polar bears, and figured out that spending one day outdoors in these temperatures was enough.

Brookfield Zoo reopened on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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