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Zoo’s residents kept cozy in frosty weather

Christopher, a lion at the Franklin Park Zoo, roared from his heated rock. Christopher, a lion at the Franklin Park Zoo, roared from his heated rock. (Dina Rudick/ Globe Staff)
By Beth Daley
Globe Staff / January 18, 2011

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A man-made rock equipped with internal heating coils warmed the hindquarters of Christopher, Franklin Park Zoo’s resident lion, yesterday as temperatures in Boston dipped to frigid levels.

When the city gets this cold, zoo workers get busy making sure animals — including many that hail from far warmer climates — are as cozy as they choose to be, according to general curator Fred Beall.

Animals that have indoor enclosures are given the option of wandering inside and out.

Northern cranes are given extra insulating straw to settle on.

And in the open-air waterfowl exhibit, workers bubble air through a pond so it doesn’t freeze: Birds can be more comfortable in the water because it is warmer than the air.

As for Christopher, the lion appeared content to lounge on his heated rock, as the visitors who came to gawk at him shivered in the cold.

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