Snow leopard enjoys winter weather at Mill Mountain

Big cats more active during cold temperatures

ROANOKE – While winter weather may be unbearable for some, cold temperatures have the big cats at Mill Mountain Zoo more active than ever.
Frigid temperatures have many of the animals laying low, snuggled up in their dens.

But it's actually the best time of year to see Nina the mountain lion or Bali the snow leopard.

Mill Mountain Zoo co-director Robin Lentz escorted 10 News up close to the snow leopard's den to see Bali in action. Although Lentz said big cats typically sleep around 20 hours a day, the snow has Bali particularly active.

"I think that people will see more activity, especially with the snow leopard. Again, they can be in environments as high as 80 degrees and still be comfortable. But for these animals, any animals, it's all about conserving resources. So for the snow leopard being especially designed to live in harsh cold climates, it has a lot of adaptations, letting him expend more energy,” Lentz said.

While all animals at the zoo have adequate shelter to avoid the cold, the big cats seem to enjoy the cold weather.

The public can see the cats during winter zoo hours which are Thursday through Sunday from 10 a-m to 5 p-m.

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