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Friday, June 9, 2023

Ice cream and air-conditioned bedrooms: Here’s how zoos keep animals cool during a heatwave

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Think: frozen bug cream, mud baths and long days at the pool. You know, the basics.

In Smithsonian National Zoo, Swamp monkeys are often offered yogurt ice cream on hot days and bison get their hooves trimmed, while vultures bathe in cold water.
In Houston, Texas, where temperatures hit triple digits last week, it’s ice buckets and frozen treats for sea lions and goats in Houston Zoo and cool the turtles.

And when it all turns out also hot, animals are put in their air-conditioned bedrooms.

This is how other zoos are keeping their inhabitants comfortable.

Rhode Island Frozen Cakes and Mud

When the weather is hot in Providence, Rhode Island, the Roger Williams Park Zoo will give the animals more opportunities to seek out the best shady places, said Vicki Scharfberg, a spokesperson for the zoo. Go into indoor areas with fans and air conditioning.

And that’s not all: the animals can cool down in refreshing mud or water, and can even get frozen, says Scharfberg.

“And there are also things that we don’t do,” added Scharfberg. “We avoid performing any routine medical checkups during periods of extreme heat. Animal handlers and staff also avoid introducing new animals during extreme weather conditions.”

A macaw caught in fog in the water at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, is seen in this still image from a video file.

Bloody ice cream in Massachusetts

Employees across the New England Zoo — which operates the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham — know exactly what to do when temperatures start to soar: frozen food.

At Franklin Park Zoo, gorillas enjoyed ice with juice and berries, while spotted hyenas enjoyed ice and cow blood, said Colleen McCormick Blair, a spokesman for the New England Zoo. with CNN.

Meanwhile, ring-tailed lemurs are believed to be frozen bugs, the spokesperson said. Animals there also enjoy the luxury of mist and other cooling mechanisms including fountains and pools.

And similar techniques are helping to keep animals cooler at Stone Zoo, including bosses, side fans, stonework, as well as time indoors, McCormick Blair said.

Ice cubes and cooling logs in Ohio

In Ohio, members of the Cleveland Metroparks zoo team keep a close eye on the weather and have tools to help animals cool off when temperatures get too hot.

First, there are cooling logs and caves for the snow leopard and a soaking stream for the Amur tiger, said Jeff Tolman, a spokesman for the park.

The zoo has also created shade structures and misting bars for the rhinos, ice blocks for grizzlies and, on particularly hot days, staff ensure the African Elephants have plenty of opportunities to soak in the mud, helps to cool down and protect their skin from the sun.

The Asian elephant hank cools off in the water at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio.

Additional fans and braids at a farm in Pennsylvania

And it’s not just zoos looking to save their animals from hot temperatures.

In Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, Jessica Poutous has more than 100 species of animals J and J Farms . Animal Sanctuary She co-owns with her husband.

The couple has doubled the number of fans in their entire barn, added misting fans, a swimming pool, and refilled water troughs several times a day.

Here, one finds a chicken in the couple's farm reserve cooling off.

“This year has been terrible, there hasn’t been any rain in June, so we’re in a dry spell due to the heat,” Poutous said.

The couple are also braiding their horses’ manes – an hour-long task – to help keep them cool.

“Horses would sweat and become so sticky that we would even use water cannons to knock them down,” says Coutous.

And for the ducks in the yard, many of which are disabled, he and his wife set up a swimming pool to help them cool off and built a ramp for them to get in and out of.

CNN’s Sara Smart contributed to this report.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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