PEORIA, Ill.– Humans are not the only ones trying to stay cool during the summer. Zoo goers may find their favorite animal hiding in shaded areas, trying to keep out of the heat.
“A lot of people come and say, ‘oh these animals are from Africa,’ well they’ve never been to Africa,” Peoria Zoo Director Yvonne Strode said.
Strode said when temperatures stay well above 85 degrees for a consecutive time period, the zoo staff take extra measures to make sure the animals do not over heat.
“The tigers have a great big swimming pool that they like to get in to, sometimes you come in and all you’ll see is their ears up there.”
For extra comfort, staff makes ice treats for the animals with their favorite food during peak summer hours. Strode said animals also have the ability to choose if they want to stay in their enclosure during brutal heat temperatures.
“I always encourage people to come out when we first open at 10 o’ clock. It’s going to be a little more cooler and the animals are going to be a little more active on the days in the summer than at 2 o’ clock when they are all dozing.”