LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – With Central Arkansas now a winter wonderland, Wednesday was a snow day for most of the city. “Today we’re out here sledding in the snow,” said local Andrew Adams, who was taking to the Clinton Library hills in his sled. “It’s pouring right now.”
Adams was joined by other groups who had gathered at the steep embankment to slide down on anything from trashcan tops to clothes hampers and even container lids.
But while humans and animals alike were able to frolic in the flurries, the caretakers of some of Little Rock’s more furry residents had a very different experience.
“Trying to get from point A to point B is just absolutely exhausting,” said Karen Caster, an animal keeper for the Little Rock Zoo. Although it was closed today, she and many others hunkered down and stayed the night, on call 24/7 for their animals.
“We’ve just kind of commandeered a lot of the offices here in the admin building,” explained Nicole Darland, who also works with animals at the Zoo, “and we’re just kind of having a big slumber party here.”
Teams spent the day clearing ice from enclosures and getting creative with traveling in heavy snow. as their battery-operated carts couldn’t clear the buildup. “I’ve been loading all my things into a kiddie swimming pool and just pulling it all behind me,” Darland said.
But they’re not the only Arkansans working the nightshift. Across town, the staff at 24/7 Hurts Donut are also staying past dark. “[We] told them if they wanted to stay that we’d put them up in a hotel and take care of the food and all that,” said Connor Grimes, owner of the local branches of Hurts.
Even in frosty weather, Hurts is still serving up sweet treats for locals who brave the snow, and hot coffee to keep them warm. “The cinnamon rolls are amazing,” Grimes said, citing one of the first items to go, “and everyone loves kolaches.” He says staff has seen the demand for donuts go up in the chilly weather, with people ordering to-go, or heading into the shop on foot.
Both teams are watching the weather closely and hoping this snow moves on by Thursday. You can learn more about Hurts Donut here and The Little Rock Zoo HERE.