Philadelphia Zoo animals find wet and mud fun to stay cool

Philadelphia (KYW Newsradio) – The Philadelphia Zoo is working extra hard to help keep its animals as comfortable as possible in the sweltering heat.

The zoo’s otters were splashing around in their pool, which was set to a cooler temperature, but they were also playing with their food.

“Just like every day, we want to make sure it’s at the right temperature for them, so they can hop in and relax any time they want,” said Michael Stern, curator for Primates and Small Mammals in Philadelphia Zoo.

“What’s so special about these hot, hot days: They’ve got some frozen fish balls, which are just their usual diet, sort of mashed up and frozen and shaped into a ball so you don’t swallow them right away like they normally would. They’ll play with it a little bit, and have some The fun new activity of it, but also they calm down a bit while they enjoy it.”

It seems that humans who enjoy animals have a greater challenge staying calm.

Leah was pushing her two-year-old son in a pram that day and watching otters work from a shaded spot.

“We got some fun spray bottles here, which he just enjoys. We’re trying to find these great spots of shade,” said Leah.

“But on a hot summer’s day, I’d rather be there.”

Stern said that many wild animals are better suited to dealing with the intense heat than the humans caring for them.

“Obviously we sweat until we’ve cooled off, and some animals do sweat, and that helps them cool off,” Stern said.

“Others will be less active and sit in the shade, but of course we give them some things to help them cool off, things like mists. Some choose pools and mud, or even frozen foods as I’ve seen some of them get.”

Giant tortoise at Philadelphia Zoo receives water mist after taking a mud bath.

Image credit: Holli Stephens / KYW Newsradio

He said that miniature horses and goats like to make use of sprays. Each animal gets their own custom ways to stay cool.

“Just as you might have on your porch a spray system to lower it a few degrees, we do the same things for a lot of the animals in the zoo, and then they have that option,” Stern said.

“If they want to stand under the master and soak in the water and really cool off, they can do it. If they just want to stand to the side and enjoy the breeze, they can do it too. We love giving our animals choice and control every chance we get.”

Tony the rhinoceros after a mud bath.

Tony the rhinoceros after a mud bath.

Image credit: Holli Stephens / KYW Newsradio

On the day we visited, Tony the Rhino picked a mud bath that he enjoyed to cool off. Giant turtles used a similar scheme.

“This cools you down better than water, because once you get out of the mud it stays sticking to your body. It will keep cooling you for a while. I saw Tony the unicorn with a bunch of mud everywhere. It was really obvious that he was really enjoying that,” Stern said. today”.

“We’ve also seen the bouncer wash them with hoses, which they love. They love interacting with people as well as the cool mist from the hose. So this is a special treat for a hot day like today.”

Stern added that the alpacas were mowed recently.

And what about hippos? Well, they won’t get out of the pool. Not a bad strategy this weekend.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: