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DENVER – The Denver Zoo had more than just the visitors to worry about when temperatures dipped below zero this week. The zoo closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday due to the freezing temperatures.
"[The] decision to close in extreme cold comes down to animal safety and guest experience," Denver Zoo’s Digital Content Manager Carlie McGuire said Wednesday.
Certain animals at the zoo can withstand the freezing temps, but McGuire says not all are made for it.
"At below-freezing temperatures, a majority of our animals will prefer to be inside, out of public view. We do have species like the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats, Amur tigers, Bactrian camels and Przewalski’s horses that are accustomed to the extreme cold and enjoy being out on a day like this," she says. "But for most of our animals, they’re staying behind the scenes in their temperature-controlled habitats."
A cold front arrived Monday afternoon, dropping temperatures 20 degrees within an hour.
Tuesday and Wednesday's observed morning low temperatures were below zero.
A gradual warmup will happen throughout the rest of the week, but it won’t be until Friday that temperatures are supposed to reach above freezing.