Is it just me or did we skip right over the 80 degree days and go directly to 90 and 100 degree days? It has been sweltering hot lately and, like anyone else who works outside, it is really important to stay cool and hydrated. For the keepers (as well as our volunteers), this means keeping coolers of ice water around and making sure to stay in shady areas whenever possible. A lot of the work we do is pretty rigorous, so taking frequent breaks also helps cut down on the effects of the heat.
Of course, we also have to help our animals stay cool. For the farmyard animals, this means putting fans up and giving them lots of ice blocks in their water buckets. Our bears, wolves and lemurs get lots of ice to play with or eat and have fans in their houses, as well. The bears and wolves can also take advantage of the large pools in their exhibits. Just today, I stood at the bear overlook and watched Mimi bear stand underneath the waterfall and give herself a nice cool shower. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jealous. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of Mimi, but below is a picture of Virginia bear taking a dip.