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'They like to hang out in the shade': How Omaha's zoo protects its animals and guests in the heat

Posted at 7:41 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 18:58:42-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — At Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, frozen treats for the sea lions and gorillas and mud wallows and misters for other animals are just some of the ways the zoo keeps its animals safe.

However, not all animals have the same needs. It depends on the climate they're used to.

"It's important to remember that a lot of these guys are from warm habitats. Like some of the African animals like the lion and the cheetah, the giraffe, they don't really need (them). They aren't as bothered by the heat," said Dan Cassidy with Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

Other animals like the Takin, suffer from the heat as we do. Their habitats are equipped with ways to keep them cool, according to Cassidy.

"These guys have a pool that they can get into any time that they want and we also have misters hung from the trees up there and they like to hang out in the shade," Cassidy said.

He said many of these animals seek shade naturally but the zoo provides additional shade if needed.

The zoo is focused on keeping their animals cool in the summer heat, but they also have eight misters around the zoo to keep guests cool as well.

"Kids get in there, punch the button and get a little shower. We also have a stream in the adventure trails. So kids can get in there and splash around," Cassidy said.

The zoo also has a large splash pad where guests can cool off and if visitors want to stay out of the heat or take a break. There are plenty of indoor exhibits to experience as well.

Like the animals who get a cold treat to keep them cool, Cassidy said employees also get something cold like ice cream in the afternoon to keep them safe as well.

The zoo recommends visiting in the early morning if you are hoping to see the animals when they are most active.

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