A snowstorm at the Conservators’ Center creates a beautiful backdrop for photographing our animal residents. Enjoy!
How we cared for our critters when roads were impassable
Whenever extreme weather conditions are in the forecast (which we constantly monitor), we can always depend on our staff, volunteers and interns to come together to ensure that our animals have everything they need.
Since we suspected roads would be impassable once the storm hit (boy, were we right about that!), key staff stayed over for two nights at our guest house, which is close enough to our grounds that staff can walk over if necessary.
“The dedication, tenacity and upbeat spirit of our staff that week was unbelievable, and the outpouring of support from Facebook and Twitter helped buoy us,” says Megan McGrath, our programs supervisor.
The animal care team consisted of two staff keepers, an intern and a volunteer who had been working that morning and knew she couldn’t get home. Other staff and volunteers were onsite when they could get there to pitch in.
The snow made moving around the Center difficult, so one of our creative keepers fashioned a sled to drag items around. But the biggest complication the keepers faced was frozen locks on the enclosures and frozen water. Although some of our small animals have heated water bowls, the keepers had to ensure that all of our animals had plenty of access to water. Every morning and evening they also had to confirm that every heater in the den boxes and winter quarters of the cold-sensitive animals were working.
Two members of our emergency response team also stayed over to ensure the animals were safe and secure. Because the ice forming on trees could snap limbs, they walked the facility throughout the night, checking for anything amiss. Fortunately, they found no damage and reported that the animals were happily hunkered down every night.
We love what we do
While it was a very challenging for those on snow duty, they also enjoyed the bright spots. The wolf pack loved the snow and played in it all day. Our tigers romped after the snowballs their caretakers tossed to them. Arthur Tiger quickly learned that coating his giant Boomer balls in snow was a fun pastime. The lion brothers, Ra and Thomas, were spotted snuggling in the same den box multiple times.
“One of the greatest elements of the community at the Conservators’ Center is that we always come together and truly make the best of whatever situation we face,” says Megan.
Thanks to everybody who helped to ensure the health and happiness of our residents that week, to those who provided food and other support to their caretakers, and to the photographers who braved the roads to provide us gorgeous images of our animals in the snow.
By Mandy Matson
Director of Communications