Animals at Phoenix Zoo Stay Cool With Frozen Treats, Baths, Misters, and Air Conditioning

Squirrel monkeys at Phoenix Zoo receive refreshing frozen treats. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)

By Evelin Ruelas

June 28, 2023

With summer temperatures hitting triple digits, Phoenix Zoo keepers demonstrated some of the techniques they use to keep the animals and their enclosures safe and cool.

The nutrition team regulates the animals’ diets, which can include frozen ice treats, depending on the animal.

Orangutan Michael gets a frozen treat filled with fruits and Gatorade at Phoenix Zoo. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)

Other animals get daily baths. Some animals have ponds and running water in their enclosures, while others have misting systems or access to air conditioning.

At the cheetah enclosure, the zookeepers tossed out the animals’ favorite frozen treats – blood popsicles and frozen chunk meat.

“We give them plenty of treats and frozen snacks. We even throw a few toys in there for them,” said Emily Merola, who has served as the cheetah keeper for about a year. “But to be honest, it’s the treats that really interest them.”

Indu, a 57-year old Asian elephant, enjoys a frozen treat and bath at the Phoenix Zoo. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)
Cheetahs at the Phoenix Zoo receive blood-based frozen treats to hydrate them on a hot summer day. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)
Kima the otter swims in a large pond with cool water during the summer. Zookeepers give otters frozen fish treats. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)
Chutti, an 8-year-old one-horned rhinoceros enjoys his daily bath at the Phoenix Zoo on June 27, 2003.(Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)
Archie, an owl, gets sprayed with water to help stay cool. A zookeeper said owls reduce their body heat through their feet, so they are often spotted standing in their water bowls. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)


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