Beardsley Zoo keeps animals warm during regionwide freeze

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BRIDGEPORT -

As frigid temperatures freeze over the region, zookeepers at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport are working to keep the animals there warm.

Beardsley Zoo is home to nearly 200 species. Officials say one of the factors they take into consideration in caring for the animals is their resilience to the heat or cold. Many of them, like reindeer, can survive temperatures that are about 80 degrees below zero -- though not necessarily comfortably.

So the zoo provides heat to the animals' quarters and water dispensers.

"Any time they want to come in and out of the cold, 24/7, they can do it," says Jim Knox, the zoo's curator.

That goes for staff members too, who wore as many as five layers to work Friday.

"If we provide optimal care for our staff, they provide optimal care for our animals," Knox says.

The zoo also has a rainforest for warm-weather animals.

Meanwhile, the Beardsley Zoo remains open throughout the year. It will, however, close for New Year's Day.

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