Voices from Russia

Friday, 14 December 2012

Bears at the Moscow Zoo have Gone into Hibernation

00 Bear in Winter. 14.12.12


On Thursday, Yelena Mendoza, head of the Department of Public Relations of the Moscow Zoo told RIA-Novosti that topsy-turvy Moscow weather didn’t discomfit the brown and Himalayan black bears, noting that they went into hibernation on schedule in late November, saying, “In the wild, bears usually hibernate by late November, we try to get them to bed at the same time. They’re hibernating now”. She explained that the keepers reduce the amount of feed to the bears, putting them on a “light” regimen, then, they stop the food and only put water into their enclosures. Thus, the animals realise that it’s time to hibernate. The zoo has two brown bears and three Asiatic black bears, which hibernate with the arrival of cold weather. They usually wake up at the end of March, when the snow begins to melt. In addition, a sloth bear, a spectacled bear, and polar bears live in the zoo, but they’re active during the winter, Ms Mendoza said.

She added that, in general, the zoo’s inhabitants of the zoo are quietly adapting to the advancing cold in Moscow, noting, “We’ve changed the animals’ diet. For instance, with the large cats, we have to give them more meat”. Ms Mendoza went on to say that they put more hay in the waterfowl pond, and the birds enjoy basking in it. Now that we have decreasing temperatures, she added that all of the animals are now in their “winter” living quarters. In November, the Moscow Zoo switched into its winter routine; it’s now open to the public from 10.00 to 17.00 MSK, but the box office at the main entrance and the petting zoo will cease operation one hour before closing at 16.00 MSK. On 31 December, New Year’s Eve, the zoo will close at 15.00 MSK, and on 1 January, New Year’s Day, as usual, it’s open free of charge. During school holidays, the zoo will be open even on Mondays.

13 December 2012



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