PHOTOS: Snow Day 2021 at ZooAmerica
As snow has blanketed Central Pennsylvania over the last month, the animals at ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park have enjoyed a handful of snow days in Hershey, Pa. During closures due to inclement weather, the zoo naturalists remain on-site to care for the animals - and may even capture sweet photos of them playing in the snow.
Check out this photo gallery of some of the North American animals out and about in the winter wonderland.
Chief, one of two American black bears at ZooAmerica, was spotted catching snowflakes on his tongue. Both black bears spend a lot of time in their dens during the winter, but Chief wasted no time taking a break from resting to play in the snow.
Rosa the mountain lion is seen catching some rays of sunshine after a snowfall in early February. ZooAmerica is home to two mountain lions recognized by their large size, tan color and long tails.
One of the two river otters at the zoo is waiting for a treat in this photo. In early February, the zoo naturalists made a snowman decorated with meat and fish for a tasty breakfast presentation. River otters are one of the most active animals at ZooAmerica in winter. They are often spotted sliding through the snow into their pool.
ZooAmerica is home to two American elk, one of which got up-close and personal with the camera on a snowy day. American elk are herbivores and their diet changes with the seasons. During the winter, they feed on shrubs, tree bark and twigs.
More snow? Even the Canada lynx at ZooAmerica are tired of it! As you can see in this photo, the medium-sized cat has long legs and huge furry feet that act like snowshoes and help it move across deep snow while hunting snowshoe hares in the wild.
ZooAmerica guests may be lucky enough to see all five Canada lynx during their next visit, as Wren and her three juvenile cats were reintroduced to the habitat in late January.
This photo of an American marten was taken just after she finished sliding and rolling in the snow to scent mark her home. A member of the weasel family, martens are well-equipped to survive in a wintry environment. They have broad feet and fur-covered soles that enable them to travel on top of deep snow.
Callum the pronghorn ran to greet a zoo naturalist when he saw her getting close to the habitat. He was hand-raised which contributes to his calmer and more comfortable demeanor. The pronghorn is the fastest land animal in North America and is second only to the cheetah worldwide.
One of the two snowy owls at ZooAmerica is seen perched in one of the trees in its habitat. As their name implies, snowy owls are well-adapted for life on the Arctic tundra (and, therefore, Pennsylvania winters). Their bodies are covered in thick plumage with heavy feathers on their legs and feet to insulate them from frigid temperatures.
Both of the porcupines at ZooAmerica were spotted together near the top of the tree in their habitat. They must have been avoiding the snow on the ground! Juniper, the female, is darker in color and slightly smaller in size compared to Carmine, the male. Porcupines have about 30,000 quills cover their bodies, which serve as a unique defense mechanism from predators.
Plan a Visit to the Zoo This Winter
As you can see by the photos, winter is a great time to visit the zoo as some of the animals are often more active during the colder months. ZooAmerica is open daily this winter from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for family fun. We hope to see you soon!
ZooAmericaAnnual Pass Holders can enjoy unlimited year-round visits to the zoo and 2021 Hersheypark Season Pass Holders get into the zoo for free, too. New ZooAmerica Passes are also on sale and include unlimited visits for 12 consecutive months after purchase.