Animals at Bearizona soaking up the snow-covered landscape

WILLIAMS, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- This winter, Arizona has seen its fair share of snow, as inches upon inches have fell across the state, especially up north. The snow may have stopped now, some are some are soaking it all in before it's gone.

The drive up north quickly turns from desert landscape to snow-dusted pines, where clouds drift across the blue sky. People have been out and about playing in the fresh powder and taking full advantage, and joining in on the fun are the animals at Bearizona.

"So much fun to see animals in this crazy snow. Some of them are rolling, playing, some of them are digging holes underneath the snow," said Dave O'Connell, Director of Animals at Bearizona. "So it's just a whole new adventure to see Bearizona in the snow."

Bearizona has been transformed into a wild winter wonderland in recent weeks, and while it lasts, the deer, reindeer, wolves and the bears are all enjoying it.

"When you think about a bear, a lot of times, you think of a bear hibernating in a den and you don't think of a bear moving around in the snow, and what's cool is that in the southern states, bears are moving around. So when you have the snow and we have the bears and a place where you can come learn and see them move around, it's really cool," said O'Connell.

Most of the animals in Bearizona enjoy this type of weather, but the animal that thrives in it the most and enjoys the snow and the chilly temps are the bison.

"If you're thinking on that animal out here in the snow, you might think they look chilly, you look at the bison and they're standing in water or whatever it might be or two feet of snow covered in iceicles, they're still not cold," said O'Connell, "They're an incredible animal and with adaptation, having that big fur coat and all of that nice fat on them, they're just perfectly fine in this weather."

O'Connell says Bearizona has recieved an exceptional amount of snow this winter, a vast difference compared to last year. He says all of the moisture will make a big difference through the rest of the year.

"Last year with the drought that we were in, a lot of the grasses didn't come back in the enclosures like they normally do," said O'Connell. "Lake Bearizona wasn't there, and this year, with all of the snow we've gotten, all of the runoff and the melting that we've had, we have so much water everywhere. What it's going to do for us is coming into spring and summer, all of the exhibits are going to look pristine. There will be all of the pretty grasses, and hopefully our bison field is covered in flowers."

The snow at Bearizona is beautiful, but soon under the melting snow, a new world to explore will emerge. The bison field should be covered in wildflowers soon after the snow melts.