Zookeepers work to keep animals cool in Marshfield - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Zookeepers work to keep animals cool in Marshfield


People weren't the only ones trying to stay cool today. The animals were also trying to beat the heat at the Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield.

Meet Thunder, a lion who is one of many animals at the zoo. And just like the rest, he's trying to stay cool in the blistering heat.

"On hot days like this, they're really feeling it," Zookeeper Steve Burns said.

Thunder's treat for the day doesn't sound too tasty for humans, but it is for him—a blood popsicle and some frozen fish. The big cat looks like he's enjoying every bit.

"For the most part they'll become a little less active, more loafing in the shade," Burns said.

Another way to cool down was with a little afternoon shower, and the bison were soaking it up.

"They're not shed out yet from their winter coat, so they're still warm," Burns said.

Zoo leaders say this weather is similar to their natural habitats.

"One reason we chose these animals is because they're all North American species, so they're all adapted to this environment," Burns said.

But even for these animals, this is extreme heat. You can see their natural ability to deal with it.

"Panting—even the raptors kind of hold their mouths open and pant," Burns said.

Zoo leaders are giving a little extra help anyway they can. They say if the heat doesn't break soon, they would have to do even more to keep the bison cool.

"If it lasted much longer, we'd probably take more drastic measures, like mud holes," Burns said.

One animal that didn't seem to mind the heat—the newest addition to the zoo family. A baby fox named Shadow was running around in the sun, instead of finding shade.

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