1. ITV Report

From Madagascar to the Midlands - the exotic animals in the big freeze

Keepers at the West Midland Safari Park are working round the clock to care for more than 600 animals during the freezing weather.

Bob Lawrence, Director of Wildlife, says the snow is making their usual work even harder.

"It's quite hard work looking after everything in this sort of weather - it makes just the routine tasks alot more arduous but most of the animals do actually go out everyday if it is just for a few hours"

– Bob Lawrence, West Midland Safari Park
Elephants huddled together in the cold weather Credit: ITV Central

Nearly all of the animals at the safari park are being let out each day in the cold weather.

More than 40 different species live at the attraction near Kidderminster in Worcestershire.

Bob says one of the main challenges in the sub-zero temperatures is watching out for if any of the animals give birth.

"The problem we tend to get is that African and Asian animals tend to give birth at any time of the year. European animals have set seasons"

– Bob Lawrence, Director of Wildlife

The park's latest arrival is a baby antelope which was born yesterday. When keepers see an animal is about to give birth they immediately try and get it back inside.

Buster the Bengal Tiger enjoying the snow Credit: ITV Central

One area of the park which needs special attention is the ringtail lemur enclosure.

A ringtail lemur keeping warm Credit: ITV Central

It's surrounded on three sides with a fence, with a lake on the fourth side. If that freezes over there's the risk the 24 animals could all escape, or fall into the icy water.

The ice on the lake is smashed daily so the lemurs don't escape or drown Credit: ITV Central

Everyday staff have to break the ice before they let the animals out for feeding.

The park has its own gritters and snow ploughs to keep the site clear so keepers can access all the animal enclosures for daily feeding.

Despite many of the site's residents being designed for much warmer climates, staff say they seem to be taking the sub-zero temperatures in their stride.

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