Think Cool…

Wildlife Images Grizzly BearsWith triple digits in the forecast keeping the Animal Ambassadors cool becomes a top priority. In the wild, animals use a variety of techniques to cool down. It comes naturally to them. Some animals have built in adaptations to keep them cool. Take the native Black Tailed Jack Rabbit for example, their giant ears help cool them down. The ears’ size and thinness allow a vast network of tiny blood vessels to move blood away from the heat of the body, essentially – ever so slightly – cooling the blood. Elephant ears work the same way.

 

 

 

Birds are able to fluff up and essentially rearrange their feathers to allow air to move against this skin. Many animals like ground squirrels, badgers and tortoises burrow underground to escape the heat. Large animals like deer, bears, and even bobcats and cougars will find a lake shore, river bed or stream where the air is naturally cooler. Many actually walk, roll, and play in the water. Even large birds of prey will cool themselves by submerging the lower half of their bodies in water.

Of course in the wild, animals will also limit their activity when it’s hot. The same can be said for the animals who live at Wildlife Images. Visiting during the hottest part of the day can often leave guests wondering where all the animals are hiding. Wildlife Images goes to great lengths to ensure the animals in our care are comfortable when temperatures rise.

Visiting on a triple digit day you’ll often find Robert’s Reptile Room dark as lights and heat lamps are turned off to help regulate the temperature during the day. Our birds of prey get multiple showers on hot days and you’ll often find the Sandhill Cranes, Daphne & Niles and Bald Eagles Ms. Jefferson & Defiance standing in the water in their enclosures. Brown Bears, Kodi and Yak will spend nearly all day in their pools. Kodi’s pool is in the front part of his enclosure so guests can see him taking a dip! We have misters set up for many of our mammals, ice pops are delivered as part of their diets, and baths are set up to provide an place to cool down. We even get snow donations occasionally from The RRRink!

Kodi cooling off in his pool
Darth Maul the King Snake shows off his enclosure’s digital thermometer
Ms. Jefferson the Bald Eagle takes a drink
Argo protecting his pile of snow