Keeping Animals Cool at the Salisbury Zoo - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Keeping Animals Cool at the Salisbury Zoo

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SALISBURY, Md.- Keeping the animals cool in this extreme heat is a big job for the caretakers at the Salisbury Zoological Park.

Lounging in the shade or cooling off in the water was a popular activity at the zoo on Wednesday; it was all in the name of trying to stay cool.

"All the animals have shade areas where they can go to. Those that need it have water that they can get into and submerge like the alpacas behind us can go into the river.  Every animal has fresh running water in the exhibit," said Ann Konopik, interim zoo director.

The birds, which generally tend to stress the most in the heat, have sprinkler systems in their exhibits to help keep them cool.  And frozen fruit for animals like the bears, jaguars and monkeys go a long way on a brutally hot day.  Overall, doing as little as possible is the best way to beat the heat at the zoo.

"You won't see us doing animal captures or restraints or any procedures or anything," Konopik said. "We just try and minimize our contact with them as much as possible to reduce their stress levels."

In fact, it is the caretakers that are impacted the most by the heat.  They are tending to these animals all the time, no matter how high the mercury rises.

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