These adorable images show how the animals at the world’s oldest zoo are enjoying the city’s first serious snow as the Austrian capital Vienna is transformed into a winter wonderland.
Schoenbrunn Zoo, the self-proclaimed world’s oldest, which is located in the heart of the Austrian capital Vienna, was blanketed by a thick layer of snow on December 9 and the zoo has recorded video showing the animals rolling around in it.
Video footage shows a red panda (Ailurus fulgens) enjoying licking some of the snow as it falls thickly around it. To read pandas can then be seen running on some elevated,horizontal logs inside their enclosure and despite them being covered in snow, they easily manage to avoid slipping off.
The footage then shows a group of seals, who appear to be doing just fine despite the cold weather, with them seen enjoying their pool despite the heavy snowfall. Up next is a white wolf that can be seen dipping its nose into the snow, with some of the cold, white stuff getting stuck on the end of it.
The wolf was soon seen in the company of its peers and they appeared to be nibbling on some snow as if it were ice cream.
Other animals can be seen putting up with the snow as best they can, with some seen foraging for the last few green leaves available on trees as the footage ends.
The winter wonderland setting coincides with the zoo being allowed to reopen on Sunday after the current lockdown in Austria ends. The country imposed a lockdown after coronavirus numbers spiked.
The zoo said in a statement: ‘On Sunday, Schoenbrunn Zoo will be allowed to reopen its gates after the lockdown.
‘That and a romantic blanket of snow bring double the joy. Many animals are waiting for the visitors who are looking forward to the onset of winter.
‘Polar bear Nora wallows in the white splendor, panda female Yang Yang eats her bamboo ration in the snow and the arctic wolves leave their tracks in the snow cover.’
Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck said: ‘Many animals are naturally prepared for winter with thick fur or an insulating layer of fat under their skin. For us it means wrap up warm. But it’s worth it, because when it has snowed, a visit to the zoo is a very special experience.’
The zoo said: ‘In addition to well-known snow lovers such as the maned seals and reindeer, the red pandas are now completely in their element. With their long, pointed claws, Mahalia and Manjul demonstrate great climbing skills on the snow-covered branches. The higher the better is the motto.’
Zoologist Eveline Dungl said: ‘In colder temperatures, the red pandas are more active than usual. Up in the trees they feel most comfortable because they can see everything. They also like to take a nap there.’