Zookeepers help animals beat the heat : NPR


Zoos throughout the nation are taking a number of steps to assist animals beat the warmth this summer season.

Eric Homosexual/AP

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Eric Homosexual/AP

Zoos throughout the nation are taking a number of steps to assist animals beat the warmth this summer season.

Eric Homosexual/AP

As vast swaths of the U.S. take care of excessive warmth this summer season, zoos throughout the nation are taking numerous steps to mitigate its affect on their animals.

“Days when it is 99 levels, it makes our job difficult for these animals which can be used to residing in chilly environments to type of maintain them cool,” Pete Costello, assistant curator of Zoo New England’s Stone Zoo, instructed NPR.

The zoo is about 12 miles north of Boston, the place record-breaking warmth is scorching town. Already on the second warmth wave of the summer season, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a warmth emergency earlier this week till Sunday.

Stone Zoo is attempting to curb the results of those harmful temperatures, particularly for animals used to the colder climate, akin to snow leopards.

“What we do with the snow leopards in that state of affairs is that they have a holding constructing that is constructed into the aspect of their exhibit, and that holding constructing is air conditioned,” Costello mentioned.

Followers have been one of many best methods for the zoo’s reindeer, who’re used to residing nearer to the Arctic Circle, to chill off, in response to Costello.

Ice blocks and swimming pools assist animals maintain cool

Swimming pools have additionally helped a few of the animals. Stone Zoo will refill the pool water every morning for the animals to make sure it is at the very least 10-15 levels colder than the water that was sitting there in a single day. The zoo may even hose the animals down or mist them with water.

“We’ll simply be dumping out the tubs and filling them with water, typically placing ice in it, all day for them,” he added.

Costello mentioned ice is a fast option to cool the animals off. Seymour, the zoo’s jaguar, loved a block of ice stuffed with meat inside earlier this week.

“You possibly can simply take a bit of little bit of his eating regimen, which is normally just a bit little bit of meat, and also you freeze it in a five-gallon bucket in a single day, after which within the morning, you simply put it in his pool,” he mentioned.

Stone Zoo additionally offers Seymour ice blocks which can be sprinkled with a few of his favourite scents — pumpkin pie spice is his favourite proper now.

“So, you would … simply take an everyday bag of ice cubes, dump them on the bottom after which put the pumpkin pie spice on it, and he’ll rub on it and stuff to type of assist him settle down,” he mentioned.

The animals even have shelters, that are positioned with the solar in thoughts.

“The reindeer shelter is positioned in a approach so when that robust afternoon solar hits it, that shelter is totally shaded,” Costello mentioned.

The Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo in Washington, D.C., can be addressing the acute warmth on the animals.

“A lot of the animals that may go outdoors are supplied a selection year-round — to go outdoors or to remain of their indoor exhibit. Most indoor reveals are cooled with AC in the summertime and warmed with warmth within the winter,” in response to a assertion from July 25.

The Smithsonian additionally mentioned its big pandas have air-conditioning and water-chilled grottos, and spend most of their sizzling days inside as a result of their thick fur makes the warmth insufferable.

The zoo additionally fills ice chunks with fruit inside for a cool summer season deal with.

“Many animals are supplied fruitsicles as enrichment, which could be notably refreshing this time of yr,” the Smithsonian mentioned.

“Fruitsicles are popsicles — they’re normally diluted fruit juice frozen with cut-up chunks of recent fruit in them. Gorillas, elephants and different bears get pleasure from these treats, too,” the assertion added, explaining that the animals get these treats all yr.

The zoo additionally mentioned a few of the animals can use their out of doors swimming pools, akin to Andean bears, pandas, lions, tigers and otters.

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