The Caldwell Zoo has more than 2,000 animals to take care of. During the summer, workers have a lot of responsibility to protect their animals from the heat. Mud piles and swim holes are some of the best things for animals to beat the heat in.
“They like to roll around in it, they like it sit in it. Basically that keeps them cool, it’ll lower their body core body temperature and it will also protect them from flies and mosquitoes,” Kristen, zoo keeper, said.
Rhinos natural habitat is in Africa, so they adjust well to hot temperatures. But Kristen says they still make sure it’s as comfortable for Phineus the Rhino as possible.
This past week, the zoo put up new bamboo umbrellas in their rhino exhibits.
“Their hay feeders are located right under the umbrellas, and so when they’re eating all day from the hay they have natural shade. So they don’t really have to go anywhere, besides under the umbrellas and just eat their food and relax “
Another thing they do weekly is toss out ice treats. For the cat family, the zoo preps blood popsicles. For other large mammals, they freeze fruit in buckets or even trash cans.
“They’ll push it around with their nose, or break it open with their horns, so it’s pretty cool to watch. “
She says workers also give animals baths to keep them cool.
“Baths can be anywhere between two to three times a week. Spraying with water-we basically just do that whenever we want to and they like it too.”
For certain animals and birds who don’t take the heat so well, the zoo lets them go inside to cool off in the air conditioning.
The zoo takes several measures to make sure their animals stay safe and healthy in the hot summer months.