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Happy Hollow Blog

Some like it hot!

Friday, 5/29

Sunny warm weather is one of the things people love most about living in California, but when it comes to caring for animals, the Zoo takes some special precautions. How does Happy Hollow keep the animals cool during the hot weather?

1) Some animals are more sensitive to heat, so they are moved into climate controlled areas on hot days.

The black and white ruffed lemurs using a special cooling pad that absorbs heat away from the body.

2) While the zookeepers work hard to keep our animals active and healthy, they make adjustments to enrichment and exercise routines when the temperatures rise. The animal care team is great at finding ways to keep the animals busy, while not overexerting themselves during the hottest hours of the day.

Picture: The chickens enjoy ice treats filled with meal worms.

3) Access to shade and lots of water are very important for our animal habitats.

Picture: Here’s one of our goats enjoying a rest in the shade.

Picture: And here’s Meenie the capybara enjoying a mud bath. Zookeeper AJ.

4) Cool enrichment. Some of the Zoo animals enjoy cooling mats, misters – and ice treats to help keep them cool.

Pictures: Our ring tailed lemurs enjoy ice treats filled with vegetables. Zookeeper Brandy.

5) Animals (including people!) have different adaptations to help adjust to the heat, including panting and sweating. Even so, the Zoo team takes these special precautions to prevent heat illness, and keep a close watch to ensure the comfort, health and safety of our beloved animals and staff.

Picture: The macaws enjoy a cool mist on hot days.

Picture: Misting our macaws isn’t just to keep them cool, it is also great for their skin and feathers. Zookeeper AJ.

Picture: Bayou the American alligator “displacing heat” by opening his mouth.

Providing protection for our animals in hot weather is critical. And remember, just like the animals at the Zoo, your pets at home are also susceptible to the effects of extreme heat. Never leave pets in vehicles (or hot confined spaces); reduce exercise during the hottest times of the day; provide plenty of water and shade; and watch for signs of heat illness.