Extreme cold a challenge for Lazy 5 Ranch

Extreme cold a challenge for Lazy 5 Ranch

MOORESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - The single digit and below freezing weather that is in place across the Carolinas presents a special challenge for one of the area's biggest tourist attractions.

Handlers at the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville need to make sure that animals from climates not used to freezing weather have a place that is safe and warm.

“Everything else that can't handle it wants to come inside the barn here," Lazy 5's Sarah Beth Rogers told WBTV.   “About mid November we move in the smaller birds, the porcupines and the turtles, they stay here the entire winter…the biggest part is preparing their place down here, that way they have a good warm place with heat lamps and heated bases for their pens and things like that.”

On Thursday WBTV paid a visit to the Lazy 5 to see how the animals cope with the cold weather.  Many, like the bison and larger cattle, enjoy being outside, but others need the warmth.

A camel named Mary gave birth to a baby girl camel on Tuesday, so mother and daughter are warm and cozy inside the big barn.  So is a rhinoceros, along with cages of tropical birds and several large turtles.

“The barn stays between 55 and 75 degrees so you have the giraffes, the rhinoceros, the camels…all the camels that normally stay out, the one that has the new baby is in for obvious reasons." Rogers added.

Also inside right now are four giraffes, each one about 20 feet tall and weighing around 2000 pounds, and three of them are pregnant.

“Between the three females we should have three babies before the middle of the summer," said Rogers.

As far as those animals that do stay outside, Rogers says they tend to stay together, and stay hungry.

“It was cold, you can tell, the animals are bunched up together," Rogers said.  "They're trying to keep each other warm, they have extra hay, yesterday we put out extra round bales. They keep themselves warm when they burn fat, so the more they eat the more they'll stay warm.”