Potter Park Zoo's Staff & Critters Prepare for Winter!

Everywhere you look, winter is fast approaching. The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping and furnaces are kicking on. It is time to pull out your hats, mittens and sweaters before going outside.

Potter Park Zoo's staff and many of the animals are also gearing up for winter. The arctic fox have transitioned from their thin brown summer coat to a dense white winter coat which is very effective in protecting them from cold temperatures. Typically in the wild arctic fox can survive temperatures as low as -50°F, making Michigan winters very tolerable for these cold-adapted animals.

Did you visit the Bactrian camels this summer? If so, you may have noticed that they did not have much hair when it is was hot outside. That is an adaptation to help them keep cool in the summer heat. Next time you see the camels you will notice that they have grown a very thick, shaggy brown coat for winter.

When you view the otters swimming underwater you may wonder why there are so many bubbles in the water. The staff at Potter Park Zoo installs a bubbler system every winter to keep the pool from freezing over allowing the otters to swim in the pool all winter long. 

These are just a few of the adaptations the animals and staff are using to prepare for the long winter ahead. Come and see if you can find some of the ways our other animals are adapting to the cold.  Remember, as days are getting shorter so are Potter Park Zoo's winter hours.  On November 1st you will be able to enjoy Potter Park Zoo from 10-4:00 p.m. daily.  We look forward to seeing you soon!