PHOENIX – With summer temperatures hitting triple digits, Phoenix Zoo keepers demonstrated some of the techniques they use to keep the animals and their enclosures safe and cool.
The nutrition team regulates the animals’ diets, which can include frozen ice treats, depending on the animal.
Other animals get daily baths. Some animals have ponds and running water in their enclosures, while others have misting systems or access to air conditioning.
Left: Chutti, an 8-year-old one-horned rhinoceros enjoys his daily bath at the Phoenix Zoo on June 27, 2023.
Center: Orangutan Michael gets a frozen treat filled with fruits and Gatorade at Phoenix Zoo.
Right: Cheetahs at the Phoenix Zoo receive blood-based frozen treats to hydrate them on a hot summer day. (Photos by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)
At the cheetah enclosure, the zookeepers tossed out the animals’ favorite frozen treats – blood popsicles and frozen chunk meat.
“We give them plenty of treats and frozen snacks. We even throw a few toys in there for them,” said Emily Merola, who has served as the cheetah keeper for about a year. “But to be honest, it’s the treats that really interest them.”
Kima the otter swims in a large pond with cool water during the summer. Zookeepers give otters frozen fish treats. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)
Archie, an owl, gets sprayed with water to help stay cool. A zookeeper said owls reduce their body heat through their feet, so they are often spotted standing in their water bowls. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)
Squirrel monkeys at Phoenix Zoo receive refreshing frozen treats. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)