Exotic animals love snow

11:04 23 December 2010

Cheetahs in the snow at Africa Alive, Kessingland.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Cheetahs in the snow at Africa Alive, Kessingland. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2010

As the Arctic weather causes chaos in and around Lowestoft there is one group of hardy exotic individuals who are certainly not letting it get in the way of their daily routine.

Tor the lion and a whole host of exotic looking animals at Africa Alive at Kessingland, could be seen gambolling around their enclosures this week as they took the cold snap in their stride.

The only animals at the popular tourist attraction who are staying indoors because of the icy conditions are flamingoes and giraffes which could fall over on the slippy surface and harm themselves.

But visitors to Africa Alive are enjoying seeing the other animals who seem to be totally at home in the freezing weather which is in stark contrast to their ancestral home.

Because the lions, cheetahs, meerkats, blesbok antelope and bat-eared foxes and other creatures are reared from other animals bred in Europe they have perfectly adapted to their Suffolk environment.

Tor the male lion could be seen jumping on pieces of meat fed by animal manager Terry Hornsey.

Mr Hornsey said: “The animals here are very hardy.

“You can see how well the animals have adapted to the environment and conditions. They could teach us humans a thing about coping with cold weather.

“In fact the cold weather gives more problems for the keepers as we have to get around the park without slipping over and have to carry water because of problems with pipes.

“The only animals we keep indoors are flamingoes because they have got fragile legs and giraffes as they could slip and splay their legs on the ice which would make it difficult for them to get up.”

The Knight family from Carlton Colville were enjoying seeing the animals having fun in the snow.

The family, parents Rachel and Joe and children Esther, 3, and Anna, 11 months, are season ticket holders.

Mrs Knight said: “It is nice to come here today. It is very peaceful and we can take our time walking around.”

Africa Alive is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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