Dealing with hot days at Dakota Zoo

Published: Jul. 13, 2017 at 5:01 PM CDT
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There's never any monkey business for the employees at the Dakota Zoo.

Especially on days when temperatures soar.

"Definitely animals first," said Jenna Roark, zookeeper.

Humans aren't the only ones that linger in the shade when its hot out.

But when its well over 90 degrees, zookeepers take extra measures to keep the animals cool.

"We add things like pools, and sprinklers, things like that. That can help keep the whole body cool," said Roark.

Zookeepers also give them treats like ice cubes and frozen fruit.

But some critters require less in the summer.

"Our farm yard eat less in the summer in the warm temperatures compared to other things," said Hannah Chaussee, zookeeper.

When Frankie the ferret's internal temperature reaches 90, he goes into heat exhaustion. That's why on hot days when temps soar, zookeepers put an ice cold water bottle in his pen, or move him into an air conditioned room.

"We do have animals that are very sensitive to high temperatures, and we'll have to bring them in doors, to help regulate that. So our chinchillas, our rabbits, a lot of our smaller mammals," said Roark.

Zookeepers say the animals have constant access to water all year round.

The lemurs and vultures like to spread out in the sun on sweltering days.