Texas

Fort Worth Zoo keeps animals cool, some are acclimated to high heat

FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – From frozen meals to cold baths, the Fort Worth Zoo is finding creative ways to keep its animals comfortable as temperatures rise.

Most of the zoo’s animals, especially those that live in outdoor enclosures, are from parts of the world with climates very similar to Dallas-Fort Worth, so they are used to the heat.

“The warm savannahs of Africa and the humid rainforests of Asia, that’s where we have a lot of animals,” said Avery Elander of the Fort Worth Zoo.

Still, zookeepers prepare iced treats for the animals to enjoy during the summer months.

“Sometimes animals just need something to cool them down,” said Lisa Lloyd, the zoo’s nutrition services quality control supervisor.

Primates enjoy vegetables on ice blocks, while meerkats get crickets and pieces of meat.

“These ice treats are just a form of enrichment,” Elander said. “It gives them something they wouldn’t otherwise have in their habitat, and it encourages them to use some of their natural behaviors like feeding and scavenging for these things.”

The zoo’s habitats have plenty of shaded areas and watering holes where the animals can retreat when they need to rest or cool off.

Lowering the hose also goes a long way in hot weather. Mtoto, a southern black rhino, likes to follow up his bath with a bit of mud, which helps keep him cool.

“This time of year we’re a little bit more interested in the guests in the park,” Elander said. “You can bring your own water bottles. We have water fountains scattered throughout the park that you can use to refill your water bottles. We’re just reminding people to stay hydrated while you’re here.”

Starting Monday, the zoo will switch to summer hours. Opening at 9am instead of 10am gives people more time to enjoy the exhibits during the cooler part of the day.

Fort Worth Zoo keeps animals cool, some are acclimated to high heat

Source link Fort Worth Zoo keeps animals cool, some are acclimated to high heat

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