Animals at Chehaw brave brutal temperatures - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Animals at Chehaw brave brutal temperatures

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Animals lay lifeless in the shade with only their panting to keep them cool.

"Panting is going to be normal, but if you see excessive panting followed by salivating that could be a sign that they are may be some heat stress going on," said park curator, Jan Thompson.

And is why caretakers are making extra rounds to make sure this doesn't happen. "Obviously the basics, they need to have plenty of fresh water and shade."

For some of these animals, like the pigs and bison, the extra hydration comes in the form of mud wallows.

"They have to have mud wallows. It's very important. Their skin can get sunburned and they need to have a good coating of mud," said Thompson.

Excessive exercise is cut out of their routines when the temperatures get this hot. "We cancel any extra activities to avoid further stress on them when it's really hot like this. Normally onSaturdays we run the cheetahs, but we canceled it today."

The animals will also slow down. "They will decrease their level of physical activity and be very lethargic and seek out the shade."

And caretakers are also applying these very same precautions to keep themselves cool as they make sure the animals are safe.

"We have an experienced staff that has been working in this type of heat in the summer for several years. So they kind of know what they need to do," said Thompson.

And whether they walk on two legs or four, they all work to beat this brutal summer heat.

Special arrangements also need to be made for your family pets at home. Veterinarians say you need to make sure they have plenty of drinking water.

And for outdoor pets, its not a bad idea for them to have a kiddie pool for them to bath in to stay cool. You also need to watch out for hot asphalt to keep your pet's paws from burning.

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