Thursday, November 10
Zoo Atlanta’s elephants have become acclimated to the Georgia weather. Their bodies naturally adjust to the change in seasons. As discussed in previous elephant blogs, it can be difficult for elephants to release heat. While this makes cooling opportunities like bathing and wallowing critical to their well-being in the warmer months, this characteristic is quite useful in the fall and winter. Our African elephants enjoy the outdoors throughout the entire year, and it is not uncommon to see both Kelly and Tara enjoying their habitat on cold days. Because elephants are so large, their core body temperature is able to be maintained for longer periods, while extremities like the tips of their trunks and ears will get colder first.
Despite this, we take extra precautions to ensure that our elephants are comfortable during the cooler months. Large sand beds in the barn provide extra comfort for our elephants when they sleep at night. Industrial freezer flaps hung in their doorway to the habitat help keep the barn warm all year. This feature also allows us to give the elephants access to their yards even when temperatures are too cold. The elephants are able to walk outside or enter the barn at any time during periods of access.
Elephant Program Manager