Do You Know How the Phoenix Zoo Beats the Heat?

Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is always mindful of the high temperatures in the summer, and we adjust operating hours to keep everyone comfortable! We also watch our animals carefully for any signs of lethargy, behavior changes, panting, etc., and produce fun and exciting ways to help them beat the heat!

Below are just a few examples:

  • Blood-sicles for the cheetahs
  • Otter pops for the otters (frozen water and fish)
  • Misters, shade structures, foliage to tuck in under, mud wallows, ponds, garden hose showers, and air-conditioned day rooms and night houses
  • Cooling platforms and misters for the squirrel monkeys and plenty of shade
  • And so much more!

The Phoenix Zoo takes the summer heat very seriously – especially when it comes to the care and comfort of the animals who call the Zoo home.

The vast majority of animals here at the Zoo can safely thrive in extreme temperatures. For example, the Arizona Trail houses animals who are all native to Arizona and, therefore, familiar with the heat. Additionally, we have several animals whose native regions are dry and arid such as Africa and the Middle East (lions, giraffes, rhinoceros, cheetahs and the Arabian oryx to name a few).

Our amazing zookeepers monitor the animals in their care several times throughout the day, and pay special attention to any changes in behavior. They look for any signs of heat exhaustion, lethargy, abnormal activity and take appropriate measures if those symptoms are noticed.

Each one of our habitats uses trees, bushes, logs and other shade structures to give animals the option for relief. However, beyond the natural acclimation by most of our animals, we have implemented several other methods to give our animals respite from the sun.

Pools are located in the habitats of our lion, tigers, elephant, Andean bear and rhinoceros. Many animals occasionally receive tasty ice treats such as bloodsicles, fishsicles or frozen food.

Misters are used at Monkey Village and at our elephant habitat. Some animals, like those on the Savanna, receive a sprinkler or garden hose shower to keep cool. Mud wallows have been built for multiple species such as tortoises and warty pigs. Cooling rocks/slabs where cold water is piped underneath help keep tigers comfortable.

The orangutans even have air-conditioned day rooms they can choose to spend time in!

More on the Phoenix Zoo.

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