Zoo animals struggling with heat wave - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Zoo animals struggling with heat wave

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A blast of cold water on a male mountain lion feels like a treat on a day where extreme hot temperatures are sizzling.

"He will let us know when he wants it and when he doesn't. If he didn't want it, he would go back in his den," said an animal caretaker at the Southern Nevada Zoo.

He is one of several animals inside the Southern Nevada Zoo getting extra attention during the next few days.

"We are spraying them down, giving them ice, providing pools. You have to remember as a human, you are walking around. You are walking, you are active where the animals have the ability to sleep during the day and are more active at night," said Jeannie Akins, animal care manager at the Southern Nevada Zoo.

While some are given frozen snacks, toys and water containers to cool off, others, like the alligators, seem to keep a low profile under water to avoid over heating.

"Like your dogs at home, if they are outside they are going to get overheated, they will come in and will want to be lethargic. That is the time frame that you want to get some specialties in them and get them jazzed up," added Akins.

Also living inside the valley zoo is spoiled 31-year-old chimpanzee named Terry - who has one amazing habitat.

"He has air condition and he also has a heater in there. He has a sliding door which stays open all the time so he can do in and out," said Lucien Meyer, the original animal owner.

Lucien Meyer is Terry's original owner and he says the animal needs the extra care because of his age and health conditions.

"They are used to the hot weather too. Hot and humid where they come from, but this is extreme for both people and animals," added Meyer.

Animal caretakers say they have had no heat related issues so far this year. Even with flavored ice treats, the animals will do what they can to stay fresh during the extreme heat wave.

The Southern Nevada Zoo says it's always looking for volunteers and new workers to help keep the animals 'cool' during the summer.

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