Zoo animals keep cool

This heat may seem like home for many of the animals at the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, but others are doing what they can to stay cool.

Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, eats breakfast Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. The zoo announced a $4.5 million gift Monday to fund its giant panda reproduction program for five more years. Donator and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is also co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, said in a news conference, "There are probably 10 million species on the face of the earth, and I doubt that any one of those species is more popular and more beloved than the giant panda." "Hopefully this will result in more pandas being born here," he said. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

This heat may seem like home for many of the animals at the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, but others are doing what they can to stay cool.

Friday we found "ivory" the white tiger enjoying the pool in her enclosure and even the tortoises walked over to the sprinklers to cool off and keep their shells from getting too dry.

Each animal has full access to indoor or covered shelters to get out of the sun.

The zoo is operating as normal except for the butterfly enclosure.

“This is the second day we've had to close it before we even open because the temperature back, said Rachel Rogers, special events coordinator. “It’s already 97 degrees and it's just too hot for people to go in and out all day long.”

Staff members tell us they are constantly changing the water, providing ice blocks, and keeping the misters going to keep the animals healthy.


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