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How Zollman Zoo staff help animals cool down in the heat

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Zollman Zoo
Zollman Zoo
Zollmanotter

BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) -- Staff at the Zollman Zoo at Oxbow Park have been busy making sure the animals are okay in this long stretch of early summer heat.

Some of the animals are still shedding their winter coats. In order to help them keep cool, staff regularly hose down the concrete so they can have cooler place to lay. They have high-powered fans, and many have water features in their pens.

Some even get special icy treats.

"On really hot days, which has been the last week, we give them popsicles, too," Oxbow Park Naturalist Clarissa Schrooten said. "We can freeze in fruits for the bear. She loves that. And maybe a little honey, so it's a little sweet, too. But then other animals, they aren't big on fruits, so we'll do meat. We freeze meat into a block. Actually, today, the otters are getting frozen fish for their diet. So they're getting a 'fishsicle.'"

Many of the animals also have dens they retreat into to cool off,
and some do like to get hosed down.

While some people may be alarmed at the constant panting that some of the animals do, Schrooten said the panting serves as a natural air conditioner for them.

Megan Zemple

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