The most enviable animals in Columbus this time of year are those swimming and splashing in Discovery Reef, the Columbus Zoo's indoor aquarium. While fish and sea turtles dip and dart past the Plexiglas panels that contain them in a giant, heated indoor aquarium, West Indian manatees of massive proportions sail around Manatee Coast.

The most enviable animals in Columbus this time of year are those swimming and splashing in Discovery Reef, the Columbus Zoo's indoor aquarium. While fish and sea turtles dip and dart past the Plexiglas panels that contain them in a giant, heated indoor aquarium, West Indian manatees of massive proportions sail around Manatee Coast.

Although the zoo's special springtime kickoff, this year called "Eggs, Paws and Claws," doesn't happen for another month, the animals are ready for visitors anytime, according to zoo spokesman Jeff Glorioso.

The North America and Asia Quest sections, which between them feature Asian elephants, Siberian tigers, bears and bobcats, also have indoor exhibit space to strut, sneak and otherwise show off in. An indoor section of the African Forest will showcase the gorillas' antics.

Glorioso said that once warmer weather sets in around central Ohio, more and more animals will come outside to play. In the meantime, "Whether it rains, snows, whatever, you'll get the full zoo experience while you're here."

Zoombezi Bay, the zoo's outdoor water park that debuted last year, will open May 23.