Zoo Boise animals cool off as temperatures heat up

Zoo Boise
Posted at 4:19 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 18:51:36-04

BOISE, Idaho — Much like humans, animals are susceptible to heat-related illnesses. While it gets hot, Zoo Boise employees do everything they can to keep their animals cool.

The Zoo gives its animals the option to go inside areas that are cooler, plus they have sprinklers installed, and even give some of their animals and nice cool treat when it gets hot.

“Every single species we have at Zoo Boise has a different temperature range and so we have to be careful to make sure it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold for each individual animal,” Zoo Boise spokesperson Jeff Agosta said.

When temperatures push 90 degrees or soar into triple digits, the animals at Zoo Boise need a way to stay cool.

“Usually when it starts getting 90 to 95 degrees is when we start to say it could be too hot for certain animals and we need to ensure that they have things that can cool them down and places they can go,” Agosta said.

Exhibits are designed to give the animals a choice on whether they want some sun or want to cool off inside.

“Besides just giving them the choices and air-conditioned areas, we do things where we create shade in their exhibit. We have sprinklers that will mist them,” he said. “Our zoo commissary staff will create fruit popsicles that are safe for them to eat or for our carnivores, they are blood popsicles that allow them to lay on, lick, and cool down as well.”

Zoo Boise is keeping an extra eye on their African Wild Dogs this summer when it comes to extra hot days. Some of their other animals are used to heat like Sand Cats and even their Magellanic penguins.

“They are actually a warm weathered bird and so their temperature range is very similar to what we have here in Boise. It can get very hot and it can get very cold and what's really cool about the water we have in the Penguin Pavillion at Zoo Boise is that it’s well water so it stays at a temperature that would warm them up in the winter and cool them down in the summer,” Agosta said.

So, if you head to Zoo Boise on a hot day and don’t see an animal in its exhibit, they are probably just cooling off.