National News

Oregon Zoo helping wildlife beat the heat

Posted August 2

— With scorching temperatures on the way, it's not just humans trying to beat the heat. Animals at the Oregon Zoo are also looking for some relief.

FOX 12's camera caught elephants at the zoo Tuesday cooling off.

"For them, they have a 160,000 gallon pool that the elephants can completely submerge in so they will go in there, but also we have water cannons for them," said Laura Weiner, Senior Keeper of Africa at the Oregon Zoo.

The cannons create a splash pad-like fun for the animal.

"We really are trying to make it a comfortable space for them to be in when it is so warm," said Weiner.

It's not just elephants keeping cool, water misters have also been installed across the zoo.

"We've put up extra misters all over. Almost every animal here has this really nice kind of cool blowing mist across their exhibit," said Weiner. "We've been running extra sprinklers as well to keep the exhibits cool."

Some animals can also take an ice bath.

"We will make ice treats and some animals really like to have ice cubes and so we'll make huge pools of ice cubes for them and they roll around in them," said Weiner.

Other animals that don't like water as much, stuck to the shade Tuesday.

"Our animals are really good at finding shady spots in their exhibits," said Weiner. "We also do open up some of their houses and give them the option to go in if they want and then they'll get out of the shade into a little bit cooler area."

Weiner said during this week's heat wave, every animal will have a place to cool down.

"As much as we can the animals will be out and we'll be making them feel as comfortable as possible," said Weiner.

Zoo staff said they will be monitoring animals more closely over the next few days.

There are also cooling misters set up for people.

The Oregon Zoo will close early Wednesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. because of the heat.

Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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