Toledo Zoo keeping animals (and people) cool - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo Zoo keeping animals (and people) cool

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 We know the feeling of being stuck in the heat.  Even though this heat isn't truly brutal, we're jealous of Louie's cold shower.  His playmate Twiggy decided to stay on shore, flushing out watermelon chunks with her water-gun trunk.  

"They really enjoy their baths.  In the winter, it's a nice warm shower," Dr. Randi Meyerson said.  "In the summer, they get a nice cold bath."

The elephant's ears help dissipate the heat of the Serengeti and Tembo Trail.  The big veins inside the thin-skin are a natural adaptation similar to coolant pipes.  Many of the zoo's famous animals fit in naturally to Toledo's climate but others need some help.  

"Their exhibits are designed where the water is cooled to 64 degrees year-round," Meyerson said. "And there's actually in the polar bear exhibit, we have a little cave that's ice conditioned, air conditioned"

The adult bears gnaw on 500-pound ice blocks but their biggest fans sometimes need a hand.

"During the day, the great thing is with a zoo this size, that they're not too far from an air conditioned building," Brett Golightley.  "There's always somewhere you can go.  We also have tons of trees around that provide shade, and benches."

Brett Golightley says the zoo often brings in 4,000 people a day.  Many visitors have no problem staying cool. Still, the safety staff is prepped for Tuesday's Ringo Starr show, the first of many in summer's heat.

"We make sure that people try to stay hydrated, during the concerts and make sure that they're dressed appropriately for the weather."

Dr. Meyerson says everyone at the zoo, whether feeding the flamingos or working the gates, has a true love for animals.  

"We work really hard to give them good quality of life year-round.  And we try not to bring animals in that maybe can't live appropriately here if we don't think we can do a good job by them."

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