Keeping zoo animals cool on hot summer days - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Keeping zoo animals cool on hot summer days

Lilly the sea lion Lilly the sea lion

New Orleans, La. - Just like we get hot on days like Tuesday, animals are affected by the high temperatures as well. Zookeepers have interesting and unique ways to help animals keep their cool at Audubon Zoo.

Some get refreshing frozen treats that are tailored to the animal's diet, even if they're not known to be picky eaters.

"Anything that's cool they seem to like," said Jamie Orth, an Asian Domain zookeeper.

The biggest pig, named Wrigley, hogs the frozen fruit, while the carnivores get their own treats.

"Our tiger, for example, we give him what we like to call meat-sicles, and we'll get some ground up meat and freeze it into popsicles and throw it to him and it's kind of a really nice treat," said Orth.

Just like humans, the animals can be overwhelmed by the high temperatures and humidity.

"Older animals sometimes have more trouble with the heat, so do younger animals. So we spend a lot of the day checking on them and making sure no one is getting over heated," said Orth.

Orangutans sweat just like we do, and they need their electrolytes replenished. In the wild, they'd likely be sleeping more. At the zoo, they get cool drinks.

Zookeepers also set up a little oasis for Lilly, the blind 26-year-old sea lion, to go ice fishing.

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