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All animals need care in winter
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Dear Editor,
I was glad to read in the Great Bend Tribune about the various animals passing their physical exams at the Brit Spaugh Zoo.  
It is always good to see that the animals have a clean bill of health. 
It was good to read where Sunny, the yellow tiger, and Max, the male grizzly bear, got their teeth cleaned and claws trimmed by staff professionals.   
Regardless of whether in the wild or in captivity, animals need special attention; especially in the autumn and winter months.  
In nature, animals are largely self-reliant or nature intervenes and runs its course.  
However, in captivity, animals may not have the ability or the special mechanisms that nature automatically provides in the areas of exercise, hygiene, or nutritional balance.
I am glad that the people at the Brit Spaugh Zoo give their animals special care. 
This good practice is an inspiration to, and a reminder for, ordinary pet owners to periodically check on the welfare of their animals, or for those animals in the neighborhoods which they take an interest in.   
During winter, pets should have ample supplies of clean food and water dishes, need to be monitored very regularly to make sure they are not empty nor iced-over when temperatures dip below freezing.   
Outdoor animals need adequate shelter against winds and a matting or bedding, which is thick enough and high enough to give warmth and protection from the damp ground which can get frigid at times.
A little bit of fore thought by humans can make a world of difference to animals in need.  
Human beings need to be good stewards of the land and practice good animal husbandry techniques to help animals sustain themselves and live healthy lives.
James A. Marples,