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Frozen treats keep animals cool during summer heat

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 20:15:01-04

It's a tall order for zoo workers at Reid Park Zoo -- making sure every animal is comfortable and healthy during intense desert summers. 

"That's doing everything from providing them coolers and fans to misters to mud wallows and pools -- to popsicles and piles of ice," animal care specialist Adam Ramsey said. "Whatever we feel that that animal needs."



A staple of keeping hundreds of animals cool each day is something many humans love too.

"A great way for both animals and humans to keep cool is popsicles," zookeeper Sara Saeed said. 

Saeed is a commissary keeper.

She is responsible for keeping all the animals fed, and that often means formulating frozen treats to fit their dietary needs. 

"We do lots of different shapes and sizes of popsicles," Saeed said. "For our carnivores -- our tigers -- we do meat popsicles, ground meat and sometimes we add a little bit of blood."

Herbivores get more fruits and vegetables.

And just like humans, hydration plays a huge role in how healthy and happy a zoo animal is. 

"We monitor their water intake very very carefully and especially this time of year we want to make sure all of our animals are drinking enough and staying healthy," Ramsey said. 

The zoo is using watermelon as a sweet treat on Wednesdays this summer. 

For information on how to visit these cool, collected animals -- click here.