2011-12-01 / Local & State

Zoo Staff Readies For Annual “Hibernation”

ERIE, Pa. (AP) – Staff at the Erie Zoo are preparing the facility for its annual three-month hibernation.

The Erie Times-News says the zoo closes for the season on Wednesday and will reopen Feb. 26.

The staff will dwindle from about 120 to about 45 workers over the winter who will stay busy feeding and caring for the animals as well as doing offseason maintenance. Leaves must be raked. Some plants moved indoors to keep them warm. Various equipment and machinery must be serviced.

The zoo has already insulated some exhibits and built wind shelters for others, but some animals used to warmer weather must be brought indoors during the coldest months.

Zoo president Scott Mitchell quips, “I can”t put a coat on an orangutan.”

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