Animals can't complain about the heat - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Animals can't complain about the heat

Most of us can find a place to cool off, but that may not be the case for animals.

We have seen temperatures reach into the 100's three times here the past couple of weeks. Workers here at Chehaw Park say keeping the animals here safe is their top priority.

Susie Blake is enjoying a sunny and hot day at Chehaw's Wild Animal Park with her two children. Blake is wearing a hat to combat the sun and heat, but when she was asked about how the animals stay cool, Blake couldn't find an answer.

"Well we kind of wondered the same thing and I think a lot of the African animals are probably the lucky ones because they have the natural ability to adapt to the heat," she said.

Zoo Director Kevin Hill found several ways to keep the animals cool. It's an old trick humans have used for years. Popsicles. They even came up with a recipe for the carnivores. "We use, sometimes, frozen mouse sickles. We'll use frozen popsicles, only we call them blood sickles here. You take a little bit of blood and mix a little water with it. It's a great treat for the servile and cheetahs."

Workers keep a close eye on animals with fur or feathers like emu because it's easier for them to overheat. That's why a sprinkler is provided to keep the birds nice and cool.

Even furrier animals, like alpaca, naturally shed their fur in the summertime to keep them cool in this extreme heat.

Hill says even for domestic animals, a doghouse simply won't do in the blazing heat.

"I know people have their animals outside in their doghouses. It's important to make sure, if you can, find a cool garage to put them into," said Hill.

Hill says when leaving your pets outside, always provide plenty of water for the day and a cool, shaded area for the animal to rest. 

When it's hot outside, they like to get in the shade near a body of water and enjoy a cold drink.

The wild animal park has more than 210 animals representing 55 species of wild animals.

 

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved

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