UNA's caretakers keep lion mascots comfy during the cold - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

UNA's caretakers keep lion mascots comfy during the cold

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Leo and Una have a safe haven from the cold temps, kept cozy by volunteer caretakers. Leo and Una have a safe haven from the cold temps, kept cozy by volunteer caretakers.
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

When the weather drops below freezing, humans obviously know how to adapt. But what about large animals, such as the lions at UNA?

Volunteers say the lions are pretty adaptable. Other than feeding them larger servings of food in the winter, they do not change the big cats' daily routines.

Leo and Una are a must-see when you visit Florence. The two lions are mascots for the University of North Alabama, which means they are treated like a king and queen.

"We really don't do anything different in the winter or summer; their whole routine is around their comfort," said habitat volunteer Ann Howard.

The lions have what volunteers call a "night house," two rooms for them to escape the elements. The rooms are kept at 70 degrees all year long. "When they come in and take a nap in bitter cold weather, I will close their door to keep the warmth in. They know they can come in and out as they choose," said Howard.

Howard is known as "Mama Lion;" she has been with the pair since they were cubs and treats them like anyone else might essentially treat a housecat. After all, these lions are the pride of UNA.

The best times to see the lions on campus is between 8 a.m. and dusk – but remember, they go inside and outside at their leisure, so pinpointing the perfect time to see these two up close can be tricky.

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