First Snowfall of 2019

“Do Big Cats Like The Cold?”

December 17, 2019

SNOW! Monday evening, the Refuge was graced with the start of a lovely winter wonderland. A thin layer of white snow spread across the grounds, ice hung on trees and fence panels, water dishes contained a thin layer of ice, and the cats were eagerly awaiting a chance to play in the snow!

People often ask “Do your big cats like the cold weather?” The answer is yes! The majority of our animals love cooler weather. Of course, there are exceptions, lions and servals are African cats and prefer to spend the colder days cuddling in their heated dens. Tigers and native animals like bobcats and mountain lions are adapted for the cooler weather. They grow thick fur coats during the winter to insulate them. Our cats love to frolic and play in the cold weather and snowfall gives us the opportunity to create seasonal enrichment for them.

Our cats get to enjoy the snow when we get enough, team members find ways to include it in enrichment: snowmen (or cats), snow piles with enrichment hidden underneath, and snow forts. It has been a few years since we had a snowfall heavy enough to really incorporate it into our enrichment program, but we wouldn’t mind a nice heavy snowfall that we can use to enrich the lives of our animal residents.

So, why not plan to spend a lovely winter’s day enjoying the Refuge? This is one of the best times of year to come! Next time you are trying to think of how to spend your day off, bundle up in your winter gear and come to spend some time with the animals. We are open every day of the year except for Christmas. They don’t mind a little winter weather, do you?

We may suspend tours due to inclement weather, so please check road conditions before you come, if the roads are icy we will probably not be offering tours that day.