Ever wonder what the animals at Roger Williams Park Zoo do when it gets cold? They play, of course. It may be cold and even snowy in January and February, but it is the perfect weather to see animals outside enjoying nature’s cooler temperatures during Winter Wonder Days. Better yet, Roger Williams Park Zoo is open every day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and admissions is half price.
For red panda watchers, winter is an exciting time to see these animals happily eating tasty leaves, blossoms and berries. If guests look carefully they will see the extra fur growing on the red pandas’ feet to help keep them warm all season. Interestingly, the red panda is primarily an herbivore. The name panda, according to the World Wildlife Federation website, is said to come from the Nepali word ‘ponya,’ which means bamboo or plant eating animal.
Not surprising the Zoo’s snow leopards greet winter happily. A snow leopard’s large, fur-covered forepaws help the animal travel on rocky surfaces and avoid sinking into the snow. These animals adapt to the cold weather with dense fur, and have a thick downy underfur. They have a compact body for energy/heat conservation, and they wrap their 3-foot-long tail around themselves, covering their face.
Kids are welcome in Hasbro’s Our Big Backyard; and the wetlands trail, weather permitting, is an ideal winter walk. Finally, visitors may warm up in tropical temperatures while also visiting with the flamingos and Riley the sloth who will celebrate his 20th birthday on January 20!
If you have not been to the Zoo in the winter, come enjoy this season. It is always an adventure at Roger Williams Park Zoo.
Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the nation, is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction, and a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. The Zoo has received numerous awards for environmental education, and conservation work done locally and around the world, caring for species that without human intervention would face certain extinction. Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society, and is owned by the City of Providence.