Heated rocks and warm porridge are keeping Wellington Zoo's animals toasty this winter.

While the capital has been surprisingly sunny lately, the temperatures can still be icy, and the zoo's residents are feeling it.

"The chimps really don't like the cold and they don't even like the little kind of lightest rain," said team leader of primates, Harmony Neale.

"Even a little drizzle they kind of look out the door and go 'nah' and go back to bed."

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Cotton-top tamarins enjoy sitting under heat lamps and watching visitors go by. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Cotton-top tamarins enjoy sitting under heat lamps and watching visitors go by. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Lately the chimps have been out enjoying the sunshine, but when they're not catching rays, the zoo team provide heated dens for them to shelter in.

For the cotton-top tamarins, there is a small shelf behind a clear pane of glass, so visitors can watch them huddle under heat lamps.

"They prefer that over going into their den during the day because they like to see what's going on, like to see visitors going past and interact with them," Neale said.

Spider monkeys huddle together in their enclosure at Wellington Zoo. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Spider monkeys huddle together in their enclosure at Wellington Zoo. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The otters are the same - they are more than happy to pile up on their heated rock under the delighted gazes of the zoo's guests.

Other animals, such as the squirrel monkeys or the white-cheeked gibbons, like to lounge in the sunshine when it's out.

The squirrel monkeys will often choose a sunny spot over their heated dens, Neale said.

When the animals aren't warming themselves under the sun or on their heated rocks, keepers are providing enrichment in the form of warm balls of porridge.

Spider monkeys wait for their warm porridge to be thrown to them at Wellington Zoo. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Spider monkeys wait for their warm porridge to be thrown to them at Wellington Zoo. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"Porridge is a good one a lot of the animals like here. Over summer we freeze it and make it kind of more like an iceblock."

In the summer, the zoo also uses frozen blocks of blood, wheelie bin-sized chunks of ice, and Warehouse paddling pools to keep the animals cool.

READ MORE: Wellington Zoo animals keep it cool in summer heat

While many of the animals were making the most of their heating devices in the cooler months, the red pandas are revelling in the cold.

Robyn the white-cheeked gibbon lies in the sun on a hammock in her enclosure at Wellington Zoo. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Robyn the white-cheeked gibbon lies in the sun on a hammock in her enclosure at Wellington Zoo. Photo / Mark Mitchell

With thick coats designed to withstand a colder climate, the red pandas often find the middle of summer a bit hot.

"They quite like the colder, rainy days. They're probably a little bit more active on those days."

Wellington Zoo is offering discounted entry prices and winter-themed talks each Wednesday in August for its Winter Wednesdays promotion.