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January 7th, 2014
10:32 PM ET

Dr. Brandie Smith on cold weather impact at the zoo in DC: "Any animal that needs heat, he gets it"

As frigid temperatures across the country continue to force people inside, on Tuesday evening "Piers Morgan Live" examined conditions for those too large to seek indoor shelter, in particular, zoo animals.

Joining the program for a live interview, Dr. Brandie Smith fielded specific questions from a host concerned for creatures of all kind:

"Are any animals actually dying in this? Has it been that dangerous for them," wondered Piers Morgan.

The senior curator of mammals at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, Smith proudly explained her facility's care of its animals:

"Not at the zoo. So the animals here, we take care of them. They have a hundred percent access to the temperatures that they need. So all of our animals are well cared for," she detailed before noting that, believe it or not, some of the mammals actually prefer the cold weather. "A lot of them we give the opportunity to go outside if they want to. So our giant pandas can choose if they want to go outside or stay inside. But any animal that needs heat, he gets it."

Noting that certain zoo animals, seals and sea lions in particular, enjoy the sub-zero temperatures, Smith noted that the same can not be said for your average "Fido" or "Kitty":

"If you have animals that are outdoors, the best thing that you can do is bring those animals inside. So if they're regularly outdoors, bring them inside when it's as cold outside. Make sure that their food isn't frozen, that their water isn't frozen, that they always have access to those things," she suggested. "But even if they're used to the outdoors, this temperature is just a little too cold for them."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with Smith, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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