Mon, Dec 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taipei Zoo holds new activity as temperatures drop

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese macaques huddle together for warmth at the Taipei Zoo yesterday as a cold front brought wintry temperatures and drizzle.

Photo: CNA, courtesy of Taipei Zoo

As temperatures dropped with the arrival of a strong continental cold air mass yesterday, the Taipei Zoo invited visitors to observe how animals keep warm during cold weather.

Beginning yesterday and concluding at the end of February, the zoo is inviting visitors to the Taiwan indigenous species area to fill out a form based on their personal observations and information learned from billboards in the zoo about how animals survive in the winter.

After completing the form, participants will be able to claim a small prize.

The zoo said that although temperatures in Taiwan do not change drastically throughout the seasons, indigenous animals that live in mountainous areas still face low temperatures and reduced resources in the winter, and they must develop ways to find food or warm shelter to survive.

The Formosan black bear usually moves powerfully and nimbly and can swim as well as climb trees.

However, when the temperature drops below 10°C, it loses its appetite and needs to sleep for longer, the zoo said, adding that bears in the wild may move to lower altitudes and hide in holes or caves, but they do not go into hibernation.

The zoo said Formosan wild boars build nests on the ground and zoo managers have observed a boar and her two piglets picking up fan palm leaves with their mouths and stacking them by a wall to form a nest.

The Formosan macaque performs a “group fight” against the cold temperatures in winter, by snuggling together to keep warm, the zoo said, adding that the zoo only has to add supplementary feed and toast for the monkeys to increase their calorie intake.

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