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Experts Assure Animals Are Comfortable During Houston Zoo Lights

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The Houston Zoo Lights celebration runs from November 18 through January 14, welcoming visitors to the park to see dazzling light displays, sip hot cocoa, and even talk to an animatronic zebra. On the Zoo Lights website, they explain that visitors won’t be seeing the animals at the zoo, and while many LED versions of the creatures will be on display, visitors will need to come by in the daytime to see the animals. But does the influx of activity bother the animals who live there?

Chron.com decided to find out how the Houston Zoo residents deal with the lengthy Christmas celebration. They note that staff members walk through the park making sure that no music nor light is drifting into any of the enclosures. Staff also watch to make sure visitors aren’t shining flashlights or taking flash photos around any of the animals.

“We have to manage the expectations of this event while also making sure the animals get the sleep they want and deserve. This is an event at the zoo but it’s not about the animals. It’s beautiful setting and place but it’s not about seeing animals,” Houston Zoo’s Hannah Bailey said. One of the ways they make sure certain animals aren’t disturbed is by checking their fecal matter for stress indicators. One year, staff noticed that the meerkats lost some weight because they were confused by bright lights near their enclosure. The zoo takes issues like these seriously, and they work to remedy the situation. Read more about how the animals react in a full report on Chron.com here.