- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some of the animals at the National Zoo have had to stay inside during the snowstorm because if they went out, they could climb on the snow and escape.

That’s one of the many challenges for a staff of about 30 zookeepers who’ve been sleeping at the zoo since Friday.

Brandie Smith, the zoo’s associate director for animal care sciences, says the zookeepers have been sleeping on air mattresses and sofas.

The zoo closed to visitors on Friday and will remain closed at least through Monday. But Smith says the staff has to work just as hard whether the zoo is open or not.

She says some animals have been out to play in the snow, including the elephants and the male giant panda Tian Tian (t-YEN t-YEN).

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